Foreclosure ‘Rocket Docket’ Done

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Too many foreclosures and too little time.

That was the impetus behind the so-called "rocket docket" in Florida, where judges could blow through a thousand cases a day.

And they had to, given a backlog of close to 40,000 foreclosures.

It was an experiment that began at the very end of December of 2008 in Lee County, Florida, the hardest hit county in the state. Retired judges came back to work, and the cases started to move. Then it went into full swing about a year ago in four other counties.

Now with a backlog of "just 8000 cases," Lee County court clerk Charlie Green confirms the money for the program runs out at the end of June. I spoke with Green a few years ago, when the program started, and then again this morning. The desperation I remember in his voice is now gone.

"We are absorbing a lot of the foreclosed properties, and hopefully as the job market improves, that will improve," Green tells me.

He describes an all-cash market in his county, where he also points to a strong tourist season. His big concern is about who will be employed and for how long. He would still like to see more retiree interest from back East and a bigger second-home demand.

As for the rocket docket, he still stands behind it, despite the criticism it received after the so-called "robo-signing" paperwork scandal at the big banks. He says for the borrowers who did show up, they got their due process, and for those who didn't, the process provided the speed necessary to deal with such an historic backlog.

Ironically, the rocket docket was hit with a petition from the American Civil Liberties Union just last month trying to shut it down. The ACLU claimed the courts were skirting the rules on documentation and not giving borrowers their fare say. The court asked for an extension to make its response.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.comAnd follow me on Twitter @Diana_Olick