USA Today predicts that it could take the country several decades to clear out the backlog of foreclosure cases that have plagued our real estate market nationwide.
Miami foreclosure defense attorneys reported in October that there is also a “shadow” market of homes that are either still in some form of foreclosure or have already gone through foreclosure but are being held off the market by banks that now own them. The official number of homes for sale nationwide is 3.5 million, but adding in the shadow market, the number may jump to 7.5 million.
Experts believe that it will be a long time before housing prices return to the levels that much of the country saw in 2005 and 2006, especially given the large inventory of homes that are available for purchase.
What this means for those fighting their foreclosure in Miami is that they are among many, many Americans who are sitting in the same boat.
One reason for the delay in these cases were the banks themselves. Initially, they filed millions of foreclosures in order to try to take homes where people may have missed one or two payments, rather than attempt to work with them. The problem was they were so unprepared to handle that many cases.
So, they started hiring companies to sign the documents that should have been signed by a bank official who had reviewed the case. Instead, an unqualified person at a different company would sign and notarize documents that they couldn’t say were 100 percent accurate. This practice, known as robo-signing, was rampant and has still been documented to this day.
Most banks took about a year off from filing foreclosures as they reviewed cases and attempted to streamline their procedures. But they did nothing to address the issues of the past, such as homeowners who lost their houses because improper documents were signed and incorrect numbers were used in support of a foreclosure.
In other cases, banks couldn’t even prove who owned the mortgage, as they are typically sold in bundles to investors. Without knowing who is foreclosing, a foreclosure shouldn’t be granted.
According to the USA Today article, the backlog of cases suggests that in some markets, the recovery time will be longer than in others. In New York and New Jersey, new court rules may make lenders take 50 years at the current pace to clear out the backlog. In Florida, the prediction is about eight years.
In states where there is no judicial review, the process is moving much quicker. Many states expect to clear out their backlog of cases in only two to four years. But even many small states, such as Connecticut, Vermont, Maine and North Dakota may be struggling for a decade or more to move cases out of their systems.
For the real estate market to recover, it is certainly good that Florida’s predicted time schedule is slightly lower than that of other states. But Miami foreclosure defense lawyers hope that courts don’t weigh the challenge of moving these quicker more heavily than ensuring homeowners’ rights are upheld.
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.
More Blog Entries:
Banks Look to Get Away With Misdeeds in Home Foreclosure Cases: November 5, 2011
Miami Real Estate Market Won’t Be Recovering From Foreclosure Any Time Soon: October 20, 2011
Foreclosure backlogs could take decades to clear out, by Julie Schmit, USA Today