For the fourth year in a row, elected lawmakers in the Florida legislature have introduced a bill designed to bypass your constitutional rights and speed up the process of taking people’s property away and throwing them into the street. This bill is given a tricky name meant to fool people into thinking it is good for Floridians. The “Fair Foreclosure Act”, House Bill 87, has been introduced into the Florida House of Representatives by Representative Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples). We call it the “UNfair Foreclosure Act” to more accurately portray the intention and goals of the bill. This is the third year Rep. Passidomo has introduced her bill. She just won’t give up. She believes that faster foreclosures that kick more Floridian families out of their homes will speed up the recovery of Florida economy. This bill will have a twin in the Florida Senate, to be introduced by Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater).
What will change if this bill passes? The law will affect every single pending foreclosure case in the state because it is retroactive. The banks only need to submit certain documents and then it is up to the homeowner to prove there are issues of fact. However, the judge can ignore the owner’s issues and enter a ruling anyway! The traditional rule of law, where a person who sues another must prove their case by “the greater weight of the evidence” will be dead for foreclosure cases. Banks can take your home away, quickly and easily… They can continue to fabricate documents as they have been caught doing countless times, file them in court, and then the homeowner has only 20 days to raise doubt, which again, the judge can ignore! The homeowner is not allowed to take time to ask for bank records or payment history to help prove bank misconduct or a wrongful foreclosure. Lastly, if a house is wrongfully foreclosed, in certain circumstances a homeowner cannot sue to get their house back! Even the Godfather of Florida’s civil procedure (court rules), Henry Trawick, one of the state’s most respected lawyers, has come out in opposition to this bill!
Over the next month, the bills will move through committees in the Florida House and the Florida Senate where our elected representatives will vote on the bills. If the “YES” votes outnumber the “NO” votes in each committee, then the bills will go to a floor vote in both chambers of the Florida legislature (the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate). If those “YES” votes outnumber the “NO” votes in both chambers and the Governor signs off, the bill becomes a law.
On February 7, 2013 the bill passed through the Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee with ten yes votes and only three no votes. Unless citizens strongly oppose this bill as it progresses through the Florida legislature, it will pass into law.
We need your help! This week, please take the time to call and email the members of the House Justice Appropriations subcommittee. When you contact the legislators please provide your name, county, and zip code so they see that citizens across the state stand in opposition to this bill.
Actions to take this week.
- If you haven’t already down so, please sign the petition here.
- Click here to vote no on the Orlando Sentinel’s poll asking if lawmakers should speed up the foreclosure process.
- Email and call the representatives listed below. Tell them to oppose House Bill 87. Type “OPPOSE HOUSE BILL 87” in the subject line of your emails. Be sure to include your name, county, and zip code because the lawmakers’ staff track citizen responses to proposed legislation. You can use this script written by Henry Trawick, or craft your own:
“The enactment of §702.015 is useless, unnecessary and will not expedite the foreclosure process. It gives inadequate remedies to persons who may be seriously injured. It does not give any consideration to existing law on several points. The real problem faced in the foreclosure crisis has been the unwillingness of trial courts to insist on plaintiffs properly preparing the pleadings under existing law, enforcing existing law on the standing of plaintiffs; the refusal of appellate courts to properly enforce existing law on standing in foreclosures; and the unwillingness of banks to promptly push foreclosures to judgment to avoid paying real property taxes, condominium assessments and maintenance for the foreclosed property.” ~ Henry Trawick, Esq.
Here are the email addresses for a quick copy and paste into an email.
If you are in South Florida and are looking for help with debt, foreclosure, real estate or want more information about bankruptcy law, call us at (754) 400-5150 or fill out our online form for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let the lawyers and staff at the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!
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