The Real Deal Miami

Old foreclosures linger in Palm Beach County

More than 5,000 cases remain in system after at least two years
Judge Jeffrey Colbath

Judge Jeffrey Colbath

Palm Beach County alleviated much of its foreclosure backlog over the last few years, but many old cases linger in the court system.

The county has 15,195 pending foreclosure cases in Palm Beach Circuit Court, new data from the Florida State Courts Administrator shows. More than 5,000 of the cases are at least two years old. Judges in the county were able to clear 17,739 cases between July 2013 and April.

Florida has nearly 56,000 unresolved foreclosure cases that are at least two years old, according to the Palm Beach Post. The state has about 186,000 pending cases overall.

Palm Beach County Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath said the courts are not moving cases along for the sake of getting them off the docket. The foreclosure cases can be expedited because the lenders and homeowners have a mutual interest in resolving them. The lenders don’t want any more homes in their portfolios, while the borrowers don’t want to lose their properties.

“It was a benign problem initially,” Colbath said. “But the crisis continued to grow and began to manifest itself in neighborhoods.” [Palm Beach Post]Eric Kalis