A judge in Manatee County has held a bank’s law firm in contempt of court for missing foreclosure hearings — the latest sign that the tide is starting to turn in favor of homeowners looking to stop foreclosure in Miami and throughout South Florida.
Our Miami foreclosure defense attorneys recently reported on our Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog that GMAC has been forced to halt foreclosures in Florida in the wake of allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the bank and its lawyers. After several years that witnessed massive numbers of foreclosures, the playing field is beginning to level out and homeowners with an experienced attorney stand a solid chance of winning a fair deal.
In this case, the judge fined the Fort Lauderdale law firm $49,000 for repeatedly missing foreclosure hearings, according to the Miami Herald. Judges have grown frustrated with the antics of banks and their attorneys in the wake of more than 1.33 million Florida foreclosure filings and nearly 200,000 repossessions in the last two years.
And, when they do show up at hearings, banks and their attorneys have not properly filed all the necessary paperwork in at least one-fifth of the cases, according to the chief judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit, which covers Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Last month, a judge dismissed 61 of 258 cases on his docket because the banks’ attorneys did not follow proper procedures.
Besides the $49,000 in fines, the judge also ordered the firm to pay $450 to homeowners for lost wages and to pay an HOA for its legal costs in connection with the missed hearing.
If you are facing foreclosure in the Miami area or are considering home-loan modification, short-sale, strategic default or other options in South Florida, contact Barakat, Jacobs & Associates for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 350-5055.