28 October 2010

Florida Foreclosure Auction Cancellations ‘Frustrating’ to Judge


The Miami judge managing a backlog of 80,000 foreclosures said it’s “frustrating” that lenders including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. continue to cancel foreclosure auctions.

Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey in Miami-Dade County, which has the most foreclosures in Florida, recently set up a system to clear the logjam. She also chaired a state Supreme Court task force last year set up to address the volume of foreclosures in the state’s courts.

“It’s very frustrating to have put in this effort to design, plan and implement this system and when we finally get some forward momentum, we start slowing down again because of the banks,” she said yesterday in an interview.

Bailey said banks are canceling foreclosure sales every day. They canceled at least 20 yesterday in front of one judge, saying they had to review the affidavits used to seize homes.

The cancellations came as Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America and Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit said they were moving to complete pending foreclosures. They had suspended foreclosure sales and judgments after complaints that home seizures nationwide were based on faulty documentation.

Attorneys general in all 50 states, as well as federal agencies including the U.S. Justice Department, are investigating.

GMAC said it’s reviewing foreclosure cases with potentially defective affidavits in the 23 states that use judicial proceedings for foreclosures, including Florida. If there are problems, they will be fixed and the cases will proceed, said Gina Proia, a spokeswoman for GMAC. Any case going to foreclosure sale in non-judicial states will also be reviewed, she said in an interview.

Bank of America, the largest U.S. bank by assets, has completed a review of its foreclosure procedures and will “shortly” begin resubmitting affidavits in judicial foreclosure cases, spokesman Dan Frahm said Oct. 25 in a statement.

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