The Real Deal Miami

Florida courts clear 66,000 cases from foreclosure backlog

November 02, 2010 04:00PM

Nearly 66,000 foreclosure cases were cleared from Florida’s court system between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to a new report from the Office of State Courts Administration, intended to assess how $6 million in new state funds targeting the circuit courts’ foreclosure backlog is working. Of the cases cleared out throughout the state during the three-month period, one-quarter were dismissed and just 23 foreclosure cases went to trial. Almost 400,000 cases remain in the courts’ hands. Palm Beach County wiped the most foreclosure cases off its plate, clearing 9,846 suits, most of which were decided by summary judgment. But some foreclosure defense attorneys have cautioned that such widespread use of summary judgment, which comes in place of a traditional trial when the borrower is not fighting the foreclosure or when the evidence is considered irrefutable, can lead to errors like the ones now under investigation by the attorneys general of all 50 states. “Summary judgment is a shortcut that should rarely be used,” said Tom Ice of Ice Legal. “That’s a disturbing trend that there are so few trials.” [Palm Beach Post]