Will Florida Speed up the Foreclosure Process – The Florida Senate introduced a controversial bill that would speed up the Florida foreclosure process and help jumpstart the economy.
Many feel this could leave some homeowners unjustly out in the cold. This could greatly affect Gainesville Florida short sale homes.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 1890 By a 5-0 vote, which combines the contents of two Florida House proposals, HB 213 and HB 1149. These are supported by short sale banks, Florida home builders and other foreclosure lenders.
The SB 1890 is targeting the 30 percent of foreclosed properties that sit abandoned, reducing neighborhood property values and raising public safety concerns.
Many question how this will affect the short sale approval and deficiency judgement after foreclosure.
With the reduction in time it takes to get abandoned properties unencumbered and available, supporters believe, the Florida’s housing industry and the economy will bounce back more quickly.
The bill currently requires three property visits to determine if its abandoned. This poses a serious problem, many homeowners must vacate their Gainesville home for sale due to relocation. They have an inability to maintain the home or they have a need for family support so they move out. However, their home is listed as a Gainesville short sale.
This does not necessarily mean the home is abandoned, but it could be vacant.
The proposed bill adversely affect homeowners still trying to stay in homes purchased during the Florida real estate boom of easy credit, interest only mortgages and escalating home prices.
The positive attributes of the bill would reduce the length of time a lender can go after a borrower following a foreclosure sale to a maximum of one year from the current five years. It also requires a short sale lender to prove that it owns the mortgage note.
Other provisions, however, are friendlier to lenders, including eased restrictions on foreclosing an abandoned property and limiting legal damages in a foreclosure case to monetary damages. That change, they say, limits homeowners rights even if the bank used fraud or shady practices to retake the property.
Some Senators feel the process to foreclose should take a long time because of the it a unique situation for every homeowner and some are trying to save their home if they lost their job and finally gained employment again.
For the first time since the real estate crash crippled Florida’s economy and struggling Gainesville homeowners, a bill to hasten foreclosures through the courts is headed to the full House and Senate.
The plan aims to reduce the amount of time a bank can pursue a homeowner for unpaid mortgage debt, while speeding foreclosures on abandoned homes and in cases where homeowners have no legitimate defenses. One problem remains! Our court systems are backed up.
Bill opponents fear borrowers will get caught up in a quickie foreclosure wheel without time to question bank documents, and argue that not only are portions of the plan unconstitutional, but that the overall proposal is unnecessary. Another reason for the bottleneck in the court systems are due to foreclosure attorneys delaying the foreclosure process.
A measure that would work in homeowner’s favors is the reduction from five years to one year that banks would have to file for a deficiency judgment against a homeowner. A deficiency judgment is the difference in the amount owed on the mortgage when the home is sold.
The proposal would allow any lien holder to hasten a foreclosure case if a property is abandoned or the homeowner does not respond with a within 20 days of being served.
The number of foreclosure filings on Florida properties dropped 62.5 percent in 2011 compared to 2010 according to RealtyTrac, however, there are an estimated 368,000 backlogged foreclosure cases in Florida courts.
If the bill becomes law it would become effective July 1, 2012 and could be applied retroactively to current foreclosure cases.
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Please seek legal advice. This information is for informational purposes only.