Matt Taibbi - the RollingStone's journalist who so aptly referred to Goldman Sachs as ""a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" - has written a must read article about how Florida has created a "rocket docket" - a high speed housing court that's sole purpose is to rule on foreclosures and clear cases that are clogging the legal system.
Taibbi cites one Jacksonville judge who said that his goal is to resolve 25 cases per hour.
How can one judge realistically clear 25 cases per hour while objectively and responsibly reviewing the facts of each case?
What's even more disturbing is the fact that many of the cases being processed with ridiculous speed are fraught with lies and fraudulent claims.
The article goes on to give a specific example of how a plaintiff (Bank of New York Mellon) claimed, in legal papers, to have a particular note on a house in its possession. At the same time, the bank stated that the note was "lost or destroyed" and that "plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain possession of the promissory note because its whereabouts cannot be determined".
The foreclosure claim was dismissed, but a few months later the bank refiled the claim and this time presented documentation showing a paper trail of ownership of the loan from the original lender through to the current bank. The problem however, was that the dates on the documents stated that Bank of New York obtained the mortgage from JP Morgan in December 2008 - BUT at the same time, the documents showed that JP Morgan only obtained the mortgage in February 2009.
Clearly the documents were doctored to perpetuate a fraudulent claim by the bank making the foreclosure claim.
The shocker is that the judge dismissed the claim, but allowed the bank to refile with "better paperwork" - and "the only way for the caseload to be reduced is to give it to the plaintiff. The entire system is designed with that result in mind" said a local attorney. The article continues to give examples of the outrageous conduct of the banks and how inefficient the legal system is to rectify this very serious problem.
And yes, while the borrowers ultimately must take responsibility for buying homes they couldn't afford and taking loans that were too good to be true, those borrowers were enabled by some of the smartest minds in the country .... and that's why this debacle cannot continue without serious government intervention.