Judge's new rules could slow foreclosure filings

By Todd Ruger | Sarasota Herald Tribune | February 10, 2009
Law firms seeking to foreclose on homes in Manatee and Sarasota counties will have to show up in person for all hearings starting in March, Chief Judge Lee Haworth ordered Monday.
The new rules ends the law firms’ ability to appear in court over the telephone, a much quicker and cheaper process for the firms that file foreclosures on behalf of lenders.
The new rule will likely drive up the cost of foreclosing on property, and could slow down foreclosure filings in Manatee and Sarasota counties, attorneys familiar with the process say.
But the new rule could also leave homeowners paying extra attorney fees in the cases, as the lenders’ law firms pass the additional legal fees on to them, attorneys say.
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