Bankers Want 'Non-Judicial' Foreclosures in Florida

Foreclosure ProceedingsThe Florida Bankers Association can be a powerful lobby, but it has yet to find a sponsor for its proposal to modify an historic protection for Florida homeowners – the option of going to court and have a judge rule on foreclosure cases.
The group wants Florida to join the other 37 states with non-judicial foreclosure proceedings, which the bankers say would ease the crisis of backlogged cases the state faces – by some estimates approaching 800,000 this year.
In 2009, the state’s foreclosure rate climbed higher with nearly 400,000 filings.
For decades, Florida homeowners have enjoyed favorable legal rights that keep them in their homes for as long as 18 months these days during foreclosure – as cases work their way slowly through the court system. And that timetable could be getting longer.
In non-judicial foreclosures, the banks could set a foreclosed home for auction in 90 days – but realistically, a non-judicial process could still take six months to a year. To supporters, that would be a much-needed improvement to help the state recover from a housing market in crisis. Foreclosed or abandoned homes linger on the market, pushing down neighborhood values, they said.
The current system also encourages homeowners to stay in homes for many months without making any payments, which has a negative impact on the rental market, the bankers say.
Opponents of the proposal, including the lawyers who represent homeowners and consumer watchdogs, argue that the measure would remove valuable legal safeguards in a state known for its homeowner’s rights.
They also say non-judicial procedures could hurt the chances of distressed borrowers to enter a mortgage modification program because they would lose some leverage they currently have in Florida against lenders eager to foreclose.
The bankers group has titled the bill, The Florida Consumer Protection and Homeowner Credit Rehabilitation Act. Association president Alex Sanchez said bankers do not want to be in the business of maintaining properties, and that residents not in foreclosure would benefit from the quicker bank sales of abandoned homes that grow blighted neighborhoods.
“We don’t want the property. We’re not into the property management business,” Sanchez told the St. Petersburg Times newspaper. “We want to get a property out of the courts and sold to a productive Florida family.”
There is much skepticism that the bankers’ proposal can muster a sponsor during an election year.
“The Florida Bankers Association hopes legislators and Gov. Charlie Crist will sign off on this in the upcoming session,” wrote Mike Thomas, in a column for the Orlando Sentinel. “The day this bill passes is the day I beat Tim Tebow (Florida Gators Quarterback) in arm wrestling.”

4 thoughts on “Bankers Want 'Non-Judicial' Foreclosures in Florida

  • Pingback:Florida Foreclosures: Law Firm for Banks Probed by AG

  • May 3, 2010 at 12:50 pm
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    Of course the banks want non-judicial foreclosure. It makes it all the easier for them to get away with fradulent backdating and faslification of documents, as has been recently revealed in the Pasco County courts with a large foreclosure firm. Without a judge monitoring the process, these banks can walk all over the “little people” who don’t know the laws and don’t have the money to hire an attorney. This will be a way for banks to bully people into leaving their homes before they need to.

  • May 24, 2010 at 12:55 am
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    Hi, is there some online seminars or webinars about Property Management on the internet?;~`

  • July 2, 2010 at 6:48 am
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    Regulating the little guy has become an art form while deregulating for Banks and Big Business is the norm. To open the door for Banks to steal our homes for pennies on the dollar would be yet another blow to the already burdened middle class. Tell your neighbors, your co-workers (if you’re working) contact your representatives (if you have one). Vote out anyone supporting this rip off bill.
    Aduzi

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