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!
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.