Business of Law
‘Foreclosure Mills’ Use ‘Assembly-Line’ Litigation Process
Posted Jan 4, 2010 2:54 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Amidst the worst economic downturn in the memory of many practitioners, business is red-hot at Florida law firms that handle multiple mortgage foreclosures for minimal legal fees of perhaps $1,200 a case.
Some "foreclosure mills" are filing hundreds of cases monthly, utilizing an "assembly-line" process. It assigns each component of the litigation process to a team of support staff specializing in title documents, drafting the lawsuit, service of process and so forth, reports the Tampa Tribune.
In addition to what they charge client mortgage servicing companies for handling a foreclosure case, some law firms also extract hefty fees from homeowners, according to the newspaper.
"It's machinery," says Jeffery Hakanson, a Florida attorney who formerly practiced at one such law firm. In the 1990s, he says, "we thought it was huge ... when we got 200 files a month, and now these firms are doing 1,000 or 1,500 a month."