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Florida High Court Approves Mediation Models

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) ¿ The Florida Supreme Court is ordering local judges to adopt a uniform mediation program to help pare down nearly 300,000 foreclosure cases clogging the state's courtrooms.

The justices adopted recommendations Monday from a court-appointed task force that all cases involving primary homes should be mediated and that judges expedite cases dealing with vacant and abandoned properties.

The ruling noted Florida has the third highest mortgage delinquency rate in the nation, the worst foreclosure inventory and most foreclosure starts with 456,000 pending foreclosure cases.

The court approved managed mediation for homestead foreclosures unless the lender and borrower both agree to opt out or pre-suit mediation had been conducted.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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