Summary: Judge Jennifer D. Bailey begins her interview with an overview of her experience as a judge. Bailey then focuses on her home foreclosure rulings as cases began to rise leading up to the financial crisis. She discussed many of the obstacles that average citizens faced, including language barriers for immigrant communities and manipulative loan underwriters, and observes that low-income communities of color struggled to get needed resources. She further notes the many challenges she faced as a judge, including the court’s backlog of foreclosure cases, which she resolved through a variety of methods: she authored the Residential Foreclosure Bench Book to simplify proceedings for other judges, she employed case management to reduce the administrative burden on judges, and she encouraged summary judgment to shorten trial times. She emphasizes the irresponsibility of underwriters as a central cause of the crisis and describes how better recordkeeping can prevent future backlogs.
Biography: Judge Jennifer Bailey is the Administrative Judge, Circuit Civil Division, 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida and has been on the Florida bench since 1993. Judge Bailey played a critical role in managing the Florida court system’s response to the foreclosure crisis. During that time, she authored the Residential Foreclosure Bench Book and chaired the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases, both part of a statewide effort to manage the foreclosure case load. Judge Bailey holds an L.L.M. from Duke University School of Law, a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Georgia.