Florida lawmakers passed a measure in attempt to speed up the foreclosure process by making a number of changes to the civil procedures governing the law. Currently, once a foreclosure goes through, a lender has up to 5 years to pursue the homeowner for the windfall between what the homeowner owed on his or her mortgage, and what the bank ultimately was able to sell it for at foreclosure auction or as an REO property. The proposal, HB 87, will give lenders only 1 year—instead of the current 5—to pursue a judgment against the homeowner if the sale of the foreclosed home didn’t make up what was still owed on the loan. It would also limit the amount that a lender can pursue a homeowner for said deficiency judgement.
The bill would also require lender to have all the required paperwork such as loan notes when they file a foreclosure complaints. Several lawyers and consumer advocates voiced concerns that some of the changes could result in cases being rammed through the process without borrowers really understanding the whole process. Changes can expedite foreclosure hearings as soon as 45 days.
This would be a big win for Florida homeowners who’ve been foreclosed upon or have had a lis pendens filed against them. If you are facing foreclosure – contact us to talk to us about other options, including a short sale, which may help protect you from any deficiency judgement.