PB County judges blast banks over stall tactics

Discussion on state of foreclosure court held in West Palm Beach
January 27, 2014 11:15AM

Foreclosure judges in Palm Beach County blasted banks during Friday’s discussion on the state of the foreclosure court in West Palm Beach.

Facing criticism for moving foreclosure cases rapidly through the system to ease the county’s backlog, Palm Beach Circuit judges defended themselves and blamed bank attorneys for stalling cases with unnecessary filings during the latest edition of the popular “View from the bench” series, the Palm Beach Post reported. The series, which is sponsored by the Daily Business Review, was held in Palm Beach County for the first time. About 85 attorneys showed up for the three-hour forum.

In an attempt to move lingering foreclosure cases along, the Circuit Court started setting trial dates on its own last year. That forced banks to either repossess properties or try to work out a deal with the borrower. During Friday’s discussion, judges noted attorneys for banks continually request to delay the repossession, even if a scheduled foreclosure case is only minutes away.

The county has about 19,000 pending foreclosure cases, a 30 percent decline from last July.

Prominent foreclosure attorney Tom Ice pulled his sponsorship from the “View from the bench” event after finding out that certain judges had issues with attorneys serving as moderators and wanted questions shared with panelists in advance. [Palm Beach Post]Eric Kalis