I have to confess, I am jealous of the media coverage in Florida. I scanned our Arizona Republic for stories regarding this title cancer affecting Arizona as well (Phoenix Bus. J. reported this week that 47% of home sales in Arizona are foreclosures) and there was nary a mention, other than an AP piece on JP Morgan Chase’s moratorium in 23 states, buried in Saturday’s paper. Reporters, you need to get on this story.
Matthew Weidner’s blog pointed me to this column in the St. Petersburg Times, full article at the title link, excerpt below.
By Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist
In Print: Sunday, October 3, 2010
There’s no polite way to put this. A growing cancer is infecting the backlogged legal process of foreclosing on hundreds of thousands of homes in Florida.
It’s endangering the legal and economic stability of this state. And it’s exposing an appalling lack of leadership, first for allowing such a breakdown in the legal system and, now, for failing to own up to this mess and get it fixed.
How bad is it? Laws governing who actually owns a foreclosed home are becoming so suspect a new buzzword is emerging: blighted titles. Even the tepid rebound of Florida’s economy may face crippling delays in resolving hundreds of thousands of foreclosures in the Sunshine State.
What’s wrong? The accuracy and truthfulness of an immense flood of legal documents and affidavits some lenders and their hired lawyers use to foreclose on homes have come under such critical attack that some major banks are suspending their court cases pending internal reviews.