Florida Fair Foreclosure Act dies in Senate | 4closurefraud.org

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The Florida Fair Foreclosure Act died in the Florida Senate.  This is cited by the article linked below as a victory for the homeowner, and it was.  But the real victory most likely came in the House when the initial version of the bill was cut from about 45 pages down to 17.  The version of the bill that passed the house only marginally improved banks position in the foreclosure process.

The only portion that was of serious concern was the provisions regarding expedited foreclosure. These provisions were not entirely new. A bank in a mortgage foreclosure has always been entitled to expedite a foreclosure by seeking an Order to Show Cause why a final judgment should not be entered immediately. In the past this procedure has not been widely used, because all the homeowner is required to do is to present an affidavit outlining any defense to avoid entry of judgment. With the exception of what legislators said the provision would do, the language adopted by the house did not seem to expand on this much.

The two parts of HB 213 that were new to the statute being amended were the ability to expedite a foreclosure if the property was abandoned and community associations’ ability to push the banks case.

For example, currently, if a process server can not serve the homeowner at the subject residence, and conducts a “diligent search” for the homeowner elsewhere, the bank can seek to publish service and proceed to obtain a judgment without any real possibility of opposition from the homeowner, who would most likely be unaware that the lawsuit was proceeding.  HB 213 removed the requirement of a diligent search, but honestly many of these affidavits of Diligent Search and Inquiry were, in my experience, probably fraudulent anyway.

In the case of a community association, it would have been given the new ability to seek expedited foreclosure as described above, which is an improvement over its options in the past (filing a notice for trial, motion to compel foreclosure, etc.) but all that is required to defeat it is the homeowner filing an affidavit indicating a defense.

The real victory this bill and its failure represents, is the Florida legislature taking the side of the homeowner and not the banks.  This was a vote on whether our elected representatives would stand with us or with the banks, and they chose the citizens as they should have.

http://4closurefraud.org/2012/03/12/thank-you-from-pico-now-will-you-help-us-thank-the-legislators-who-stood-with-homeowners-against-the-bank-interests/

House Bill 213–The Fair Foreclosure Act/What it Changes

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Tallahassee, Florida

The Florida Fair Foreclosure Act has been passed by the Florida House by a vote of 94 to 17, and has been sent to the Senate for consideration and vote.  The Act does not include provisions implementing “non-judicial foreclosure’.  If the Act passes the Florida Senate as it passed the House and is signed by the Governor here is what it will change:
Continue reading “House Bill 213–The Fair Foreclosure Act/What it Changes”

House Bill 213 would relax standard for Final Judgment in foreclosure cases–FloridaBar.org

If a Plaintiff in a case can demonstrate to the Court that there is no issue of material fact in a case, that is that the parties do not disagree on any fact necessary to prove the Plaintiff’s case, the court can enter a Final Judgement without a trial.  HB 213 currently in the legislature would allow the court to enter judgment in foreclosure cases even when the homeowner disagrees with the facts the bank asserts, such as whether they own the note or how much is due.  The Motion for Summary Judgment process was already risky for the homeowner and now it is going to be that much more dangerous.

http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/jnnews01.nsf/8c9f13012b96736985256aa900624829/ac108020f017839d8525799c004de9c8!OpenDocument

Also, see Another post from this site describing the motion for summary judgment process.

Pace of foreclosures in Florida to increase – Florida – MiamiHerald.com

Article from the Miami Herald discussing various factors that could speed up the pace of foreclosures in Florida, including the end of mandatory residential foreclosure mediation, the $26 billion dollar settlement with banks, bank’s increase in filings to work through the backlog created by the robo-signing investigation, and House Bill 213. The article also mentions the firing by the Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, of her office’s two most out spoken opponents of fraud in the banking industry.

the issue is whether speeding up the foreclosure process will help the housing market recover by resolving pending foreclosures, or further depress home values by flooding the market with homes.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/15/2645558/pace-of-foreclosures-in-florida.html

Florida Foreclosure Bill: Don’t Rush Home Cases | TheLedger.com

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This is an editorial published in the Ledger discussing the Florida legislature’s efforts to expedite the foreclosure process. The author argues against speeding up the process because doing so open the doors to fraud by banks. The author gives non-judicial foreclosure as an example. Florida has in the past unsuccessfully tried to pass non-judicial foreclosure legislation. By speeding up the process, non-judicial foreclosure allows less judicial oversight of the foreclosure process and enables more fraud by banks. A study of 400 foreclosures in San Francisco is cited, where all cases exhibited some form and level of fraud. California has non-judicial foreclosure.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20120224/EDIT01/120229654

Settlement, House bill could fast-track Florida foreclosures – Tampa Bay Times

Article from the Tampa Bay Times discussing the Florida Legislature’s efforts to fast track foreclosures. The bill has several options to fast track. For example if a home is confirmed to be abandoned the foreclosure process can be expedited.

However, the homeowner should be aware that Florida law already contains a provision allowing the foreclosure process to be moved to conclusion quickly. After the bank has filed a verified complaint it can ask the Court to issue an Order to Show Cause why a final judgment of foreclosure should not be entered. If proper cause is not shown by the homeowner in accordance with the rules of the court, judgement could be entered before the homeowner even has a chance to respond to the Complaint.

Please do not hesitate to give me a call if you are facing foreclosure, so we can discuss how I can help.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/faster-foreclosures-could-be-coming-to-florida/1215881

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act / Tenants’ Rights in Foreclosure

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Leading up to the recent settlement between the Government and several of the largest U.S. banks, lenders routinely ignored the requirements of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. As a landlord you should keep your tenants informed of the status of your foreclosure action, and let them know that they will almost certainly be allowed to stay out their lease term. Also, direct them to the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act so they can educate themselves about their rights as tenants.

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act was adopted in 2009 to address the problem of the eviction of tenants on short notice following the sale of their home in a foreclosure action.

The Act requires that a tenant under a “bona fide” lease be able to remain in the leased property for the full duration of the lease, or if the tenant is a month-to-month tenant that the tenant be given no less than 90 days notice to vacate the premises.  In the case of a bona fide lease for a specified term, this preserves the tenant’s right to stay in the home for the term of the lease, for the month-to-month tenant the Act increases the notice required to be given from 30 days to 90 days.

The only exception to the above

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