In our last post we discussed the high volume of foreclosure cases in Florida courts right now, many of which take years to resolve because of a combination of difficult process and the many parties that can be involved. This week, lawmakers took up a bill that would speed up the process by reducing the amount of time that the parties have to take certain types of actions.
One element of the bill, which was passed in the House Civil Justice subcommittee, is that lenders will have only one year to inform homeowners of a lingering debt if the foreclosure sale did not yield enough to pay off the remaining loan. Under current law lenders have up to five years to initiate this process, which can lead to a very unpleasant surprise for borrowers who thought they had settled their affairs and moved on with their lives.
The new law would also require mortgage servicers to gather all of the appropriate paperwork in advance of filing a foreclosure complaint. As we noted in our previous post, disorganized paperwork on the part of the lenders can lead to some significant delays in the foreclosure process.
On the other hand, the new law also speeds up the time that borrowers have to act, shortening the timeline for a foreclosure hearing to just 45 days. Some consumer advocates say that this is not enough time for borrowers to get up to speed and gain a full understanding of what is happening and what their rights are.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Foreclosure bills moves forward over both bank, consumer objections,” Kathleen Haughney, Feb. 7, 2013.