In S. Florida, process servers win as foreclosures grow

Whether it's on the gritty streets of Miami's Bunche Park or in the marbled lobbies of condos on Brickell Avenue, everyone seems to know Seth Gissen — or at least his kind.

Grim and focused, he is known by the stack of papers under his arm, the way he peers in windows, jots down tag numbers, and queries neighbors or the concierge. When he knocks on the door, it is loud, brisk and authoritative.

He is a process server, a sworn court officer called upon to deliver official notices to homeowners that their lenders have filed foreclosure. As the mortgage meltdown hits a critical mass in South Florida, it seems that his presence in neighborhoods throughout the region is becoming almost as common as that of the mail carrier or meter reader.

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