Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Process Server — Business is Good

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TAMPA, Florida — Michael G. Murray pulls his Honda Civic up to the gatehouse at Cheval Golf and Country Club, one of Hillsborough County's priciest residential neighborhoods. The guard inside smiles as she takes Murray's laminated photo ID, which identifies him as a certified process server.

"You again," Cheval's gatekeeper says with a grin. "How many you got this time?"

Murray, 45, pulls the top papers from a stack of recently filed foreclosure complaints piled on the armrest. "Just one stop today," he says as the guard returns his ID.

"All right then," she says. "Good luck!"

From the front seat of Murray's car, which racks up about 50,000 miles a year zigzagging around northwest Hillsborough County, one thing is clear: Florida's foreclosure wave has washed away class distinctions. On this day in late November, he'll try to deliver foreclosure papers to owners of a double-wide as well as a $1.6 million lakeside mansion. He'll ring doorbells at a small pink-shuttered block home with grass gone to sand, a condo with a U.S. Marine emblem on the door and a sprawling corner-lot estate with a well-tended lawn.

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