Talk about capitalizing on someone else’s misery! According an article in the The Tampa Tribune, law firms are scrambling for more staff, particularly paralegals, in an effort to meet the wave of foreclosures in hard-hit areas of the country.
One Tampa law firm, Florida Default Law Group, filed more than 400 foreclosure lawsuits in Hillsborough County in February alone, according to a Tampa Tribune review of Hillsborough County Clerk of Court records.
Foreclosure firms have ramped up their hiring. Jim Albertelli of Tampa-based Albertelli Law, estimated that the biggest firms in Florida have grown to as many as 200 clerks, paralegals, lawyers and other staff, based on the wildly increasing number of foreclosures coming across the transom.
Apparently, law firm efficiency has been tested by the increase in volume. Outsourcing firms have risen to assist law firms, and I would assume that this causes even more positions to be created.
Typically, clerks, paralegals and other support staff do much of the legwork for foreclosures, such as setting the court hearings and, if necessary, coordinating a foreclosure sale of the property. A small number of lawyers typically oversee them.
For example, Albertelli Law of Tampa has about 30 people working on foreclosures in Tampa. Five of them are lawyers, though they get help from lawyers in the firm’s other offices in Florida. In February, Albertelli filed 61 foreclosure lawsuits in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, according to clerk of court records.
Albertelli said he’s hoping to increase staffing in his Tampa office on Harbour Island to 100 employees in the next several months to deal with his huge new caseload. Given the size of the foreclosure crisis in the country, I really can’t think of a better classic example of "I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news."