April 30, 2013 02:00PM
The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill late Monday to speed up foreclosures and unclog backed-up courts, the Florida Current reported.
The bill, HB 87, would enable the mortgagee to move the court to hold a hearing to show cause, a procedure by which a court can require defendants in a real estate foreclosure action to demonstrate why a foreclosure judgment should not be entered.
The controversial reform, hotly debated among members of the Florida Bar Association, would also prevent those foreclosed on fraudulently or in error from getting homes back if they have already been sold to a third party, the Current said.
Opponents say people struggling to hold onto their properties will lose an important recourse, but the bill also contains provisions to protect homeowners, according to the Current.
Supporters of the bill say it is needed to reduce Florida’s backlog of foreclosures, which continue to flood the market, depressing home values. The average foreclosure takes more than two years to make it through the court system.
“Florida is number one in foreclosures. That is not a distinction we wish to have,” Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville, told the Current.
The bill now goes to the Senate. Similar legislation passed the House last year but didn’t make it through the Senate, the article said.