A bill to speed up Florida’s groggy foreclosure system was approved by the Florida House on Monday after a 87-26 vote.
The third attempt at foreclosure reform in three years, HB 87 creates new options for expedited foreclosures and tightens up filing standards for banks. A companion bill in the Senate stalled in the committee process.
Opponents claimed HB 87 would harm homeowners and favor banks, who have been accused of engaging in questionable foreclosure practices.
“We’ve got to be extremely careful with regulating foreclosures,” said Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami. “Many of these proposals go too far.”
Bill sponsor Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said the bill would help streamline the slow foreclosure system. The mortgage foreclosure system needs to operate justly and “expeditiously” she said.
The bill would give condo associations an opportunity to speed up foreclosures by participating in a “show cause” hearing in which a judge can close out a case more quickly.
Supporters said the bill would help return Florida’s real estate market back to normalcy after six years of problems.
“Florida’s number one in foreclosures,” Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville. “And that’s not a distinction we wish to have.”
The bill states that homeowners who lose their home in a fraudulent foreclosure cannot get it back if another party bought the property from the bank. The “show cause” provision would allow condom associations to speed up the foreclosure process on homeowners who have not paid their condo dues.