In a time when people are experiencing unparalleled hardship, Miami-Dade county is ramping up to steamroll more foreclosures. This news comes as rents are rising in Miami spurred on by international speculators and investors, and people losing their homes. Nationally homeless is increasing due to the pervasive unemployment, sub-poverty wages of the lowest tier of the working population, and the multi-decade long attacks on housing safety nets. We are now witnessing a homelessness that includes young able bodied people some of whom are working while homeless.
A large backlog of foreclosures exists in Miami of over 50,000 cases. This situation was created by the banks illegally “robo-signing” and ramming through foreclosures, and the lack of political will to fundamentally address the issue in a way that challenged the banks. With a hot market in town, the pressure is on to free up the flow of capital in the banks, produce more houses for the market, and make the scandal go away from the eyes of the public.
The Miami Herald released a report Tuesday on the Miami-Dade Circuit Court’s attempts to work through these cases. The report describes the use of state funding, lightning fast trials, and pressure from all sides to move forward. The article also cites a Bruce Jacobs, a foreclosure defense lawyer, as detailing the pressures that make defending these cases difficult. Jacobs, who blogs and has a local radio show Mortgage Wars on Wednesdays at 5pm on WZAB-AM 880, reports that Banks wait till the last minute to give necessary documents and judges are not allowing proper time to evaluate those documents. The net effect is familiar. Forces from all sides are pressuring embattled home owners without any allies, organization, or fair process.
The county is being changed step by step daily by imposition. While investors, politicians, judges, and businesses decide the course of the city, people’s lives hang in the balance. If we want to prevent Miami from yet another cycle of displacement, class and racial segregation, and stealing the wealth of countless of families, we need to take action. Building neighborhood organization to resist these attacks is the way to start taking back our city. Joining with our neighbors can help us build a living democracy, decide the course of our city and our lives, and put forward another vision of how we can live without the mass displacement and impoverishment of tens of thousands of people in Miami-Dade.