TALLAHASSEE–An Orlando senator is leading Democratic legislators with bills to help those that are in danger of losing their home since Florida ranks No. 1 for foreclosures.
Sen. Darren Soto said the three bills would not solve the foreclosure crisis, but would make moves toward improving the situation.
The first bill (SB 1236) would make the $800 million left in the Hardest-Hit fund available to assist in-trouble homeowners that can currently not access the fund.
“We’re not talking about raising taxes, we’re not talking about cutting other programs, we’re just talking about allowing money that was supposed to be doing this for the past four years to finally be used for what it’s meant to be,” Soto said.
The second bill (SB 1226) has a House companion (HB 371) filed by Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando, and would shorten the time to establish debt from five years to one year and also shorten the time for lenders to collect outstanding debt from twenty years to two years. This would spare “homeowners from collectors’ current license to haunt them for up to two decades,” a press release from Soto said.
The third bill in Soto’s army against the foreclosure crisis is SB 1218, which has a House companion (HB 1101) filed by Rep. Jose Rodriguez, D-Miami. The bills would allow the attorney general to go after collection firms that produce falsified foreclosure paperwork.
Republicans in the House and Senate have bills (SB 1666/HB 87) that would speed up the foreclosure process and would “railroad homeowners out of their houses,” Soto said.