According to a report from The Washington Post, Florida lawmakers believe they have come up with a way to solve the enormous backlog of foreclosure cases clogging state courts. Florida was one of the states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, and there are believed to be as many as 368,000 foreclosure properties currently in limbo.
In effort to get these foreclosures moving and to start making recovery, Florida lawmakers have decided to take drastic measures by suggesting a bill that would expedite the foreclosure process for banks so long as certain qualifications are met.
Under this change, banks are expected to be able to foreclose on vacant properties more easily. However, homeowners struggling to keep their homes may also lose due process rights under the new law, opponents argue.
They say that homeowners who have been mistreated by banks and lenders could be left in the dust as the foreclosure speeds on without them. As one Florida foreclosure defense attorney put it: "When you rush to judgment, due process suffers."
One way in which homeowners would potentially benefit from the bill is that it would give banks one year instead of five years to sue homeowners with delinquent mortgages for the difference between what they owned on the property and how much the foreclosure property sold for.
After gaining approval from the House last week, the bill will next be considered by the state Senate, which is expected to decide on the issue by Friday, the last day of the legislative session.
Source: The Washington Post, "Florida lawmakers consider accelerating foreclosures," Brady Dennis, March 3, 2012