NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Florida desperately needs more foreclosures ... or its court system does, at least.
The steep drop in foreclosure filings in recent months has opened a $72.3 million deficit in the Florida court system's budget. The financial situation is so dire that the chief justice has asked Gov. Rick Scott to temporarily transfer $42.5 million to the courts from other funds.
Otherwise, the courts will have to impose "extensive furloughs" of its personnel, Chief Justice Charles Canady wrote to Scott last week.
"Such furloughs would cause a severe disruption in the functioning of the courts," said Canady, adding that he's already implemented a freeze on hiring and operating budget expenditures, which will close the rest of the gap.
The governor's office agreed Tuesday to transfer a total of $14 million from trust funds for mediation and arbitration and for court education. This will keep the courts operating through April.
And it will give Scott's team time to understand what led to the deficit and how it can be resolved, wrote Budget Director Jerry McDaniel to Canady. They will then decide whether to shift $28.5 million in non-court funds to the judicial system.
In 2009, Florida lawmakers changed the court system's funding system, making it dependent on filing fees rather than money from the state budget. Some 80% of the court's $462 million budget comes from filing fees.
And the courts, which have been swamped with foreclosure cases in recent years, projected that 77% of their fees would come from real estate filings this year.
But foreclosure cases have dropped precipitously since last fall, when mortgage servicers were caught up in a paperwork scandal. Many halted or slowed their foreclosure filings after it came to light that they were submitting improper documents to courts nationwide.
In Florida, foreclosure filings fell to 8,205 in February -- the lowest since October 2006. Filings peaked at 38,371 in October 2008.
The court system estimates that foreclosure filings will rebound in the next fiscal year, which starts in July. While Canady says he has some reservations about that projection, it will resolve the judicial branch's fiscal crunch.
No customers or employees were in the store when looters broke into it, the company said. It was closed earlier in the afternoon out of caution before the situation turned violent. More
A major earthquake was the last thing Nepal needed. Even before one of the country's major fault lines rumbled to life, the country was beset by challenges. More
Tech devices -- from drones to Raspberry Pis -- got a lot of love onstage at the 2015 Matrix Awards honoring powerful women. Here's why. More
An Oregon bakery that refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple's wedding had its crowdfunding page shut down after just one day. More
Imagine having a three-day weekend every week and being paid the same full-time salary. It can be done if your employer offers you the option of a compressed workweek. More