I was wondering what the response would be to the backlog of foreclosures and now it has reared its ugly head in the name of The Florida Consumer Protection and Homeowner Credit Rehabilitation Act.
A review of this bad, anti-consumer bill can be found in the St. Petersburg Times here. If it passes it will be bad news for consumers…some of the lowlights:
- If you’re a financially strapped Florida homeowner “” 62,719 Tampa Bay properties got foreclosure notices last year “” the 53-page bill contains worrisome signs.
- Non-judicial foreclosures must conclude in no less than three months and no more than a year. Most Florida foreclosures take a year to 18 months to work through the courts these days, longer if a lawyer fights a successful rear guard action. So in 90 days banks can theoretically auction the home out from under you.
- The Florida Supreme Court’s newly endorsed mandatory mediation for lenders and homeowners would effectively go bye-bye. The bill provides only for informal meetings between creditors and debtors.
- Even after homeowners are evicted, banks can still pursue them for unpaid mortgage debt. But banks will waive that right if homeowners avoid trashing or stripping the house before the new owner takes over.
With the strong anti Wall Street, anti banker, anti fat cat sentiment on the street, this will be a hard bill to pass, but something will come of it and I’ll keep watching.