Florida Consumer Justice Advocates Take Stand Against Florida’s HB 87
A group of Florida foreclosure defense attorneys have banded together to form the Florida Consumer Justice Advocates in order to fight against the adoption of Florida’s HB 87 foreclosure law. The Florida Consumer Justice Advocates group includes attorneys, consumer activists, homeowners and others “working together to fight unfair consumer laws.”
What is HB 87 or “Florida’s Fair Foreclosure Act”?
HB 87 or “Florida’s Fair Foreclosure Act,” proposed by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, seeks to clear out the backlog of Florida foreclosure cases. The bill plans to accomplish this largely by accelerating the foreclosure processing for some foreclosure cases.
Important provisions of HB 87 include:
- Banks and lenders must prove in greater detail they own a mortgage prior to foreclosing
- Nonmortgage holders (like homeowner’s associations) may request courts to accelerate foreclosures in some cases
- The time in which banks can file for a deficiency judgment on homeowners is reduced from five years to one year
- Senior or semi-retired judges may handle foreclosure cases
- A “finality provision” is included that stops homeowners from getting their home back even if the bank has wrongfully foreclosed
HB 87 Disputes from Florida Consumer Justice Advocates
The Florida Consumer Justice Advocates’ website, http://www.consumerjustice-fl.com/, lists these arguments and more against HB 87:
- “HB 87 and SB 1666 awards lender misconduct with faster foreclosures and less due process for consumers.”
- “The finality provision of HB 87 further rewards the deception and without any opportunity for review even where fraud has been discovered.”
- “Florida’s existing foreclosure laws already permit rapid prosecution of foreclosure cases.
- “SB 1666 and HB 0087 improperly incentivize courts to expedite foreclosures”
The stalled foreclosure cases are not moving because the plaintiffs choose to not move them.”
In a May 2013 article on the WSFU website, Matthew Weidner, president of Florida Consumer Justice Advocates, described the real issue at hand, “Existing laws in Florida and the existing judicial process allow courts to process foreclosures quite efficiently. The problem is the banks are not doing their jobs properly. The foreclosure crisis in this state is a crisis that the banks created.”
Florida Consumer Justice Advocates May File Lawsuit if HB 87 Becomes Law
According to a May 2013 article on The Florida Current, the Florida Consumer Justice Advocates have pledged to file a lawsuit if Governor Rick Scott signs HB 87 into law.
Weidner described his plans for a lawsuit should Scott sign the bill, “We would file it immediately. We wouldn’t wait for someone to lose their house first.”
Gov. Scott already received a letter from Senator Darren Soto asking him to veto the bill. Soto said in his letter to Scott, “It is no secret that I have been an opponent of this anti-homeowner bill since its inception. This legislation would mark the biggest reduction in homeowner/homestead property rights in generations … I urge you to do the right thing and veto this bill.”
Contact Foreclosure Defense Attorneys About HB 87
If you are facing foreclosure and need help evaluating your situation, it may be helpful to speak with a foreclosure defense attorney about how HB 87 could affect your case. Foreclosure defense attorneys can review foreclosure cases, negotiate with mortgage lenders and may help homeowners avoid an expedited foreclosure proceeding.
The foreclosure defense attorneys with the AmeriTrust Law Group have over 30 years combined experienced dealing with foreclosure. The bankruptcy and foreclosure defense teams at the AmeriTrust Law Group are staffed with case managers, investigators and legal assistants.
Contact our experienced foreclosure defense professionals today for a free consultation to learn more about how HB 87 may affect your foreclosure case.
Other Foreclosure Articles
For more information related to foreclosure, review The AmeriTrust Law Group’s foreclosure articles.