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Foreclosure Fast-Tracking Bill Has Homeowners Worried About Being Shoved Out

| February 20, 2012

(Rainforest Action network)

A controversial bill backers say would speed up the foreclosure process and help jumpstart the economy made its Senate debut Monday amid concerns that the measure could leave some homeowners unjustly out in the cold.

By a 5-0 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure (SB 1890) which combines the contents of two House proposals, HB 213 and HB 1149, that are traveling in that chamber and supported by banks, builders and other lenders. (See the bill’s text below.)

Backers of the proposal say they are targeting the 30 percent of foreclosed properties that sit abandoned, reducing neighborhood property values and raising public safety concerns. By reducing the time it takes to get those properties unencumbered and available, supporters say, the state’s housing industry — and the economy — will rebound more quickly.

“This is the underbelly of one of the things that is keeping our economy from recovering,” said Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine.

Critics, however, say the bills as written go much further than reducing the inventory of abandoned homes. Whether intentional or not, the proposals adversely affect homeowners still trying to stay in homes that were purchased in many cased during the pre-recession, white-hot period of easy credit, interest only mortgages and escalating home prices.

“This bill places too much burden of repairing this problem on the backs of consumers and homeowners,” said Alice Vickers, attorney for the Consumer Action Network.

On Monday, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, introduced the Senate version, deferring detailed questions to his House counterparts, specially Rep. Greg Steube, R-Parrish, and a real estate attorney.

For consumers, the bill would reduce the length of time lender can go after a borrower following a foreclosure sale from five years down to one year. Backers say the change will allow homeowners to get on with their lives.

Other provisions, however, are more lender friendly, including relaxing the restrictions on foreclosing on abandoned property and placing limits on the damages in foreclosure cases to monetary damages.

“The best way to help Florida’s economy is to get beyond this foreclosure crisis,” said Anthony DiMarco, senior vice president for the Florida Bankers Associations.

But some committee members said that while it’s important to wipe bad mortgages off the books, consumer protections need to be paramount, citing recent incidents of robo-signing and other examples of mortgage fraud that came to light after the housing crash.

“It should be a long process to take someone’s property,” said Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens.

The Senate bill now travels to Senate Banking and Insurance and is likely to see substantive changes before it reaches the floor.

–Michael Peltier, News Service of Florida

Foreclosure Bill SB1890 (2012)

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8 Responses for “Foreclosure Fast-Tracking Bill Has Homeowners Worried About Being Shoved Out”

  1. Gia says:

    Manufacturing is not here anymore, thank’s to the Americans careless & laziness .Do not expect housing rebound anytime soon. No work…no money…no buy. America is becoming 3rd world.

    • Linda says:

      You are right, Gia. We are the poster child for what is wrong with America. Democracy is a fragile thing, it is a gift, not a right.

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you OWN your home the “banks” can not shove you out BUT if the “bank’ owns it in the way of you owing the bank they have the right to shove you or I out if we do not pat what we agreed to.

  3. JIM.R says:

    Gia—- Do you think it’s the fault of American workers that corporations moved manufacturing offshore or to Mexico so they could take advantage of slave wages to increase profits, and also to avoid environmental regulations?
    People that try to blame American workers for wanting to make a living wage and have a decent standard of living are just brainwashed by the anti union propaganda that has been going on for the last 30 years.

    • Doug Chozianin says:

      The wages of UNION Stagehand Workers at The Metropolitan Opera (NYC) are over $300,000 per year. Met tickets start at $400. It is no wonder that The Met begs for money at every opportunity.

      (I think the Met would play well in Nogales.)

      Why are manufacturing jobs in the US growing in RIGHT-TO-WORK states?????????????????

      • FlaglerLive says:

        Doug, your use and abuse of facts can use a museum of of the absurd all its own. We’re approving your comment, but only to illustrate the extent of your ideologically-tainted inventions. The figures you cite have been going around right-wing scam sites for quite a while now, snowballing into beautifully big cherries ripe for the picking. But they’re patently false. A few years ago stagehands went on strike in New York. New York Magazine analyzed the numbers. Even the salary figures put forth by producers–you know, the anti-union folks–topped off stagehands’ salaries at $150,000, and that figure was an invention. “Those listed salaries, Local One spokesman Bruce Cohen said last Monday (before a media blackout),” New York reported, “range from about $70,000 for the two lowest rates (which he says 75 percent of stagehands make) to $88,500 for the three “head” hands on every show. He adds that the league’s number is based on almost-unattainable 52-week years and overtime that less than half of employees get.” The full fact-check is here.

  4. palmcoaster says:

    Thank you FlaglerLive for documenting the truth here.
    The brainwash by spreading false/bogus/ invented data to some here like libelous Gia downgrading our workers and Doug, is amazing.
    We are becoming a third world country because of the greed of American corporations and their political conservative supporters like you. Doug, is easy to bash our workers from the deck of a 32 foot boat and the chairmanship of at least three corporations in the Sunshine State. Of course you are rooting for slavery antiunion because your greedy businesses benefit from that. Further more you head a fundraising charity to help in Haiti while wide spread news of monies/help are hardly delivered there…typical corporate profile and cronyism….do you also attend the Davos elite summits to save the poor worldwide…What about our families leaving in their vehicles and under bridges?
    Dear Linda you do not seem trying to help your California sister with your stands, either.

  5. danner omerick says:

    Geez. If I committed fraud upon the courts I’d be placed in jail meanwhile these banks cut deals with our state lawmakers and boom, out comes a bill that’s created for and by bankers. Nice. The only thing that’s left to do is fight for yourself and expose these crooks.

    Pro se seems to be the only way these days :(

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