This Is our Village

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


CALL Alert for October 13, 2010 - Banks Putting Hold on Foreclosures in Florida

Dear David Israel:
The following blog post, written by Becker & Poliakoff attorney Kevin Miller, the head of the Firm’s Collections and Foreclosures department, appeared recently in the Florida Condo & HOA Law Blog,

It addresses the current decision by banks to put foreclosures on hold in Florida:

You may have heard that several major lending institutions, including Bank of America, GMAC and JP Morgan Chase, are putting foreclosures on hold in Florida. Our Attorney General joined other states to investigate mortgage foreclosures throughout the country. We expect other lenders and mortgage servicing companies to make similar announcements in the near future.

Why? Well recent news reports that the people signing thousands of affidavits in court proceedings did so without verifying ownership of the loan and the amounts due. They reportedly did not review original documentation or have any personal knowledge of the facts alleged in the affidavits. Some representatives have reportedly signed 8,000 to 10,000 affidavits a month. The lenders and/or mortgage servicers need to review and assess whether these foreclosures and filings comply with state laws.

Although it is uncertain how much delay these current reviews will add to the foreclosure process, most experts believe it is only delaying the inevitable. We believe it will take thirty to sixty days for the companies to perform an internal review. This is not good news for Florida's community associations. Various research outlets currently list the average length of the foreclosure process in Florida between 14 and 17 months. Some foreclosures are taking much longer.

Community associations must recognize their rights as a party in these actions. Community leaders cannot sit back and wait for the banks to figure out what they are going to do next. The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure govern these cases in litigation - the banks (and bank attorneys) have to follow the rules and if they do not, they can be made to suffer the consequences. Courts have imposed significant sanctions against banks and their law firms for failing to abide by court orders regarding the prosecution of foreclosure cases.

Certainly, the overwhelming number of foreclosures filed in Florida is challenging the resources of the courts, but boards that wait and simply ride out the storm can lose out on valuable rights (and dollars) for their communities. There are alternatives to simply waiting out the bank foreclosure which, if successful, can help move the process along. However, these alternatives must evaluated on a case by case basis and in consultation with your association's counsel.

If you have any questions about how this new development affects

your association’s collections and foreclosure cases, you should call us to discuss, as there is no “one size fits all” approach.

Very Truly Yours,

Yeline Goin and David Muller, Co-Executive Directors

Community Association Leadership Lobby (CALL)


  1. My Association, as many others, are being negatively impacted by foreclosure "slowdowns" intentionally created by the banks who gave out the soft money a few years back. Excuse after excuse are given to the courts not only jam up the dockets, but cause each of us to pay the price. I am awaiting an answer from B & P from an inquiry placed today. Two and one half years and counting!

  2. No sooner did I post, that I received a response from B & P.
    The judges are not moving forward with these cases due to the need for
    examination of fraud as the article describes. I will receive another call in 30-45 days after the Judge has reviewed the paperwork. I asked if I was being charged for the call and the attorney said no... next time.


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