I can't find a lawyer who will defend me on the merits. WTF? I won't mention any names but I am on my third well known foreclosure attorney. Every one of them acted like I had a good chance of winning this thing and as soon as I gave them some money they begin their stall tactics. Their idea of winning is to delay and see how long they can keep me in the house. They want me to "let them handle it" and go away, oh, and pay them handsomely while the case sits for months with no progress. The first attorney filed for an extension of time. The second attorney sent my check back when I asked if I could preview the answer to the complaint before it was filed. He didn't have time to 'hold my hand'. The third attorney filed a motion to dismiss months ago. How long can that just sit on the docket?
In theory, forever until some one decides to issue a notice of lack of record activity [after 10 months] under Rule 1.420 Rules of Civil Procedure. In my jurisdiction, there is an administrative order which was created last year that says that if a Motion to Dismiss is not scheduled within 10 days of filing that it is deemed to be abandoned.
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In my county I am seeing many courts setting case management conferences where they expect to hear all pending motions, including motions to dismiss. Then the court keeps checking in on your case every 2-3 months until the case is ready for a trial.
There is no way to provide a meaningful response to your question without a great deal more information. However, it is important to understand that, in Florida circuit courts in much of the state, right now it is nearly impossible for borrowers and their attorneys to obtain proper rulings on motions, on summary judgment and at trial. The state of Florida has set up a parallel legal system to handle foreclosure cases, populated in large part by senior judges, many of whom have no comprehension of the issues that borrowers raise, and in many cases, no interested in learning. They are paid by the day to "clear the backlog", which is interpreted by many as meaning "borrowers lose".
What many defendants don't understand is that in that sort of toxic mix, having your issues decided at the wrong time by the wrong judge means you go down the tubes, while, with the very same issues presented to a judge who is willing to listen, and has not decided the case, you may very well succeed, and by doing so, gain defensive horsepower, as opposed to being cut off at the knees. Faster is not better, most definitely not in Florida foreclosure court.
I don't know what attorneys you were involved with, and being well-known does not equate to being good. I know of attorneys "well-known" in foreclosure circles who are infamous for the work they do. Accordingly, it is impossible to say more without knowing the details of your case. However, I can say with certainty that, although I have clients who thought they knew about foreclosure defense, in reality they did not. There is much "information" floating around which is totally wrong. Many of the people we represent are attorneys themselves, and yet even they do not have any meaningful understanding of the real issues which should be raised in defense of foreclosure.
The answer to your question depends on the county where the case is pending. Many of the counties are forcing foreclosure cases to unending "case management conferences", for the purpose of requiring that issues that are raised be disposed of, specifically so that the cases can become "at issue", and so, set for trial. Then, in many of those counties, no matter how significant a borrower's defense may be, no matter how deficient a plaintiff's case may be, many of the judges in those cases will simply ignore the issues, rule for the plaintiff, and thereby get yet another case closed. Some counties do not do that, and wait 10 months for no record activity, and then threaten to dismiss the case if there is not good cause shown why it should not be dismissed. Other counties do nothing.
Since you have an attorney, I strongly recommend that you ask him about his strategy and the policy in the court where your case is pending.
Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. You should contact a local attorney to discuss and to obtain legal advice.
Our firm defends folks on the merits. And, based on my banking background as a former professional loan buyer and loan acquisitions due diligence consultant, my firm has some unique legal and equitable defenses. However, if you truly have a great defense, the lender often does things to delay. Additionally, we have recently lost a case at trial where our client had a great defense. The judge really didn't care. The lender didn't even have to try that hard at trial. While we are appealing the trial court's decision, we do not have full confidence in the appellate courts either. It is also expensive to truly litigate, conduct discovery, take depositions, etc. What you need is honest advice about your chances, and to set realistic litigation goals based on the money you want to spend. There are no guarantees in litigation. I have won cases I should not have won, and lost cases I should not have lost. Such is the nature of practicing law.
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