Florida Supreme Court authorizes judges to appoint foreclosure magistrates

Some lawyers who represent homeowners are criticizing an order by the Florida Supreme Court that authorizes chief judges to appoint “general magistrates” to handle foreclosure cases.

The court issued the order on Thursday, saying it would help “efficiently process,” foreclosures, report the Associated Press and the Palm Beach Post. Final orders by magistrates still must be reviewed by judges.

St. Petersburg lawyer Matt Weidner criticized the move in an email to AP. “Florida consumers need more judges and a properly funded court system, not band aids, stop gap measures and magistrates,” he said.

An estimated 358,000 foreclosure cases are pending in the state, according to a recent report by a working group of judges and court administrators. The report predicted an additional 680,000 cases will be filed by 2016, the Palm Beach Post says.

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