Foreclosure Help in Tampa May Become Much Harder Soon

September 23, 2011

Foreclosure help in Tampa may get much harder for homeowners as state leaders consider a nonjudicial process to clear out defaults.

The push is on in Tallahassee, Fl to remove courts from the foreclosure process.

According to an article of Janet Zink at the St. Pete Times, supporters of the concept say it will speed foreclosures, get houses back onto the real estate market and boost the economy.

Opponents say it puts property owners at the mercy of banks.

Florida’s Government is very interested in considering legislation to change laws so judges won’t have to referee foreclosures. Foreclosures take longer and are more expensive in states that involve courts.

Foreclosure proceedings in Florida for example may take more than 600 days which many people close to Florida’s Government believe is too long.

Florida has the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate, and is one of 20 states that require all foreclosures to go through the court system.

So no surprise that Gov. Rick Scott said he is eager to learn more about the nonjudicial process and how making the switch might impact Florida’s housing market.

In 2010, the Florida Bankers Association pushed unsuccessfully to change the state’s law so judges didn’t need to sign off on foreclosures. The Bankers Association believes that much of the state’s housing crisis is caused by a glut of homes awaiting foreclosure since properties can’t get sold quickly and people don’t buy much paint and furniture anymore.

But state Rep. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, who fought the 2010 legislation, said he will fight it again. He thinks that replacing people’s rights with expediency, particularly when talking about most important property rights, is not the right way. According to Soto, it is a homesteader’s right to access the courts.

Even in states where judges aren’t forced to preside over foreclosure cases, property owners can take the proceedings in court. However, in Florida filing fees alone may cost up to $2,000, making it cost-prohibitive for most people in addition to incurred legal fees to fight foreclosure.

The following states offer nonjudicial foreclosures in at least some cases:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Source: Realty Trac

How would the nonjudicial process work?

Florida lawmakers considered a nonjudicial foreclosure bill in 2010 with the following provisions:

– Borrowers would first receive notice of default on the loan via U.S. mail.

– No less than 30 days later, the borrower would receive a notice of foreclosure, and the lender would file a notice of foreclosure in county public records.

– Five days after filing the notice of foreclosure, the lender must furnish copies of the notice to anyone with an ownership interest in the property, and 10 days after filing the notice with the clerk, the notice of foreclosure most be posted in a conspicuous place on the property.

– The foreclosure would have to be completed no less than 90 days and no more than one year after filing the notice of foreclosure.

In conclusion, foreclosure help for Tampa homeowners and having that fighting chance in the foreclosure process may get much harder very soon as state leaders consider to clear out defaults as fast as possible.

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