A few weeks ago, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a review of its 18-month-old mandatory foreclosure mediation program. (You can read the December 2009 Administrative Order creating the program and the September 26, 2011 Administrative Order reviewing its results online.)
The Palm Beach Post is reporting that as soon as tomorrow, the decision will be made about what to do about Florida’s Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Program. Why do anything? Because a system designed to help get the Florida court’s foreclosure dockets freed from their bottleneck of foreclosure lawsuits by legally requiring banks and home owners to sit down at a table and hammer out a deal has failed. Failed in a big way.
Florida Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Program Hasn’t Worked – Banks Haven’t Been Eager to Negotiate With Home Owners
After the Florida Supreme Court ordered a review of what is happening in its Foreclosure Mediation Program, comments were submitted by various folk to give their views on what has caused the program to stall. Stall? There’s not much else to say about it: only 3.6 percent of 78,076 cases referred statewide to mediation over a 1 year period ended up making a deal.
That means 96.4% of the cases sent to the Florida Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Program didn’t succeed. That’s a really, really big failure rate.
Here’s the surprise to no one, really: the banks don’t seem to be serious about negotiating, they just showed up to get credit for being there.
The Florida Supreme Court Is Monitoring Florida Foreclosure Crisis, and It Will Take Action
The State of Florida has its own set of laws and unless the Attorney Generals’ settlement negotiations result in some kind of blanket release for banks, there are state laws on the books that allow the State of Florida to govern the actions (and the bad acts) of lenders doing business here.
Which means it is a powerful thing to have the Florida Supreme Court issuing orders mandating mediations. The Florida Supreme Court will take action here, and this may be a good thing for Floridians everywhere.
Consider this from the December 2009 Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order:
- Foreclosure case filings in Florida trial courts stood at nearly 369,000 in December 2008.
- At the beginning of the last quarter of 2009, foreclosure filings statewide totaled in excess of 296,000.
- Florida had the third highest mortgage delinquency rate, the worst foreclosure inventory, and the most foreclosure starts in the nation as of the date of the Order.
- The Florida Supreme Court Task Force recommended adoption of a uniform, statewide managed mediation program to be implemented through a model administrative order. (This was done.)
Will the Florida Supreme Court take further action? We’ll know soon and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.