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Foreclosures

The FBA (Florida Bankers Association) was successful in placing $4 million in the budget for the courts and $2 million for the clerks of court to use for foreclosure cases. This will help with the backlog of foreclosure cases in the court system.

Unfortunately, the Florida Senate did not take the opportunity to pass substantive changes to Florida’s foreclosure laws. The Legislature started with many foreclosure bills, nearly all were bad for our industry. Soon the focus was shifted to just three: HBs 213 and 1149 and SB 1890. These bills contained many provisions that would have made foreclosures more expensive and much slower. These provisions included:

  • One year statute of limitations to seek a deficiency judgment on commercial properties;
  • Monetary penalties for failing to comply with the satisfaction of mortgage provisions;
  • Prohibition on charging fees for estoppel letters;
  • Mediation requirements;
  • Requirements that a lender must put up surety bonds and the like when suing under a lost note affidavit;
  • Case management requirements;
  • Requirement that the original mortgage be filed in the foreclosure complaint;
  • Notice to tenants; and,
  • Language to undo the MERS system.

After many hours of negotiations and lobbying the above provisions were either stripped from the bill, so that the bills were left with the following provisions:

  • Changes to the order to show cause statute to expedite judicial foreclosures;
  • Provisions to permit expedited judicial foreclosures for abandoned properties;
  • One year statute of limitations on filing for a deficiency judgment on residential properties;
  • Clarifies the items that must be included in a foreclosure complaint; and
  • Provides that the bill is retroactive and applies to existing mortgages and claims in certain cases.

House Bill 213 was passed 97–14 in the House and was awaiting a vote in the Senate. Unfortunately, SB 1890 was never place on Special Order Calendar for floor action.

We then shifted to Plan B and were able to get agreement to add just the expedited judicial foreclosure section to SB 670 that was on Friday’s Special Order Calendar; however, the Senate President did not bring the bill up for a vote. We believe that internal Senate politics was the reason that neither bill passed. We will push this legislation again next year.

The FBA thanks the bills’ sponsors: Reps. Kathleen Passidomo (R - Naples), Greg Steube (R – Sarasota), and Eric Eisnaugle (R – Orlando), and Sen. Jack Latvala (R – St. Petersburg).

 

Source : Floridabankers.com


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