Why Florida Foreclosure Is Ugly

Florida foreclosure gets ugly
Florida foreclosure gets ugly

It's all over the news: banks rushing to foreclose and consumers turning to the courts as a last resort before their homes are snatched away without due process. As Daily Finance's Abigail Field points out in this well-researched piece, some states are working hard to protect consumers: Not Florida. Florida still seems to be helping banks grab foreclosed properties faster than you can say "rocket docket." Here's how:

In the face of banks' rampant disregard for the law in pursuing foreclosures with false paperwork, the judiciary has started to emerge as the great defender of due process and the rule of law.

For example, in October, New York put an end to the fraudulent document problem in its courts. Some Ohio courts started making similar efforts. And on Monday, New Jersey put in place rules to end document fraud in its system. New Jersey also called out major banks and demanded they affirmatively demonstrate that their foreclosure procedures are sound. This list of judges standing up for the system is hardly exhaustive.

In each case, the judges made clear they weren't picking sides. They were merely enforcing the rules, making sure the banks didn't get special exceptions unavailable to anyone else.

Unfortunately, not all judges are responding to the foreclosure mess this way. Those in Florida have been particularly notorious, and new rulings show at least some members of the Florida judiciary seem more committed to speeding foreclosures through to completion than anything else.