25 Years and Counting of Foreclosure


Inquiring minds are looking at Florida and wondering what is wrong with this country? When did it become impossible to foreclose on a house when the owner hasn’t paid their mortgage for 25 year?

The 71-year-old retired insurance saleswoman has been living in her house, a two-story on a half acre in a tidy middle-class neighborhood here in central Florida, since 1978. The last time she made a mortgage payment was October 1985.

And yet Ms. Campbell has been able to keep her house, protected by a 105-pound pit bull named Dodger and a locked, rusty gate advising visitors to beware of the dog.

“They’re not going to take this house,” says Ms. Campbell. “I intend to stay in this house and maintain it as my residence until I die.”

Since when does someone who hasn’t paid their mortgage for 25 years decide this? How could a judge not decide against her after she made this statement?

But it gets better (is “worse” the more correct word?):

Ms. Campbell has challenged her foreclosure on the grounds that her mortgage was improperly transferred between banks and federal agencies, that lawyers for the bank had waited too long to prosecute the case, that a Florida law shields her from all her creditors, and for dozens of other reasons. Once, she questioned whether there really was a debt at all, saying the lender improperly separated the note from the mortgage contract.

She has managed to stave off the banks partly because several courts have recognized that some of her legal arguments have some merit—however minor [SC editor’s bolding]. Two foreclosure actions against her, for example, were thrown out because her lender sat on its hands too long after filing a case and lost its window to foreclose.

“However minor”?!?!?!?! We live in reality. Nothing is ever 100% perfect. Whatever happened to the idea of ‘reasonable doubt”? What happened to “American Pragmatism”?

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