Fighting foreclosure is something that most people in Florida associate with a lengthy process, in part because Florida is a judicial foreclosure state. In recent years, that has certainly been the case. That, however, seems to be changing. One judge in Florida says that the statistics he is seeing now are to his liking.
Early in 2013, the judge reported that he had almost 2,000 backlogged cases, which were cases filed before December of 2012. The St. Johns County court has reduced the county’s backlog by 83 percent from Jan. 28, 2013 to Feb. 10, 2014. While the number of filings is still considerable, with 1,027 filings last year in the county and 134 filings this year during the first two months, it is down some. Fewer filings are what the judge considers the main reason for the reduction in backlog. He says that they have been actively working to eliminate the backlog, but that the backlog is “still a beast but not as bad of a beast.”
The judge says that unlike many other civil cases, these foreclosure cases are ones that nobody wants to move. Homeowners are often not in a hurry for the foreclosure to go through. Loan servicers might not be in a hurry because they don’t want to pay taxes or homeowner association fees.
He says the goal is to settle foreclosure cases within a year. The head lobbyist for the Florida Bankers Association says that the average time to get them through the system has been 900 days. Within the last year, that time seems to have been getting shorter. While that is generally a good thing, it also leaves homeowners less time to try to stop the foreclosure from occurring. Anyone who is facing the possibility of foreclosure should make sure they understand legal options that might be available to help stop foreclosure.
Source: The St. Augustine Record, “Courts eliminating backlog of foreclosure cases” Stuart Korfhage, Mar. 08, 2014