MANATEE -- The demise of Florida’s “foreclosure king” and the free-fall in foreclosure filings could turn the state’s court system into a pauper.
The Law Offices of David J. Stern P.A. announced it will cease foreclosure operations this month, leaving as many as 100,000 Florida foreclosure cases in limbo. Court officials and attorneys say the ensuing delays will further strain a legal system that is running low on operating money because of declining revenue from filing fees.
“I’m not sure how it’s all going to shake out,” said Christopher Forrest, a foreclosure defense attorney in Sarasota. “I’m anticipating it’s going to be a big mess.”
Stern’s Plantation-based law firm was among the most prolific foreclosure filers in Florida, accounting for nearly a third of the state’s 350,000-case backlog. That earned Stern a fortune -- he reportedly has an $18 million yacht docked at his $16 million Fort Lauderdale mansion -- and the “foreclosure king” nickname and led critics to derisively call his law practice a “foreclosure mill.”
His dynasty began crumbling last year amid mounting criticism of the firm’s legal practices.
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