There is a reason the foreclosure process takes a long time. It’s because removing someone from their home was never supposed to be easy.
Our Miami foreclosure lawyers know it’s gotten even longer, particularly in Florida, as cases have piled up amid the robo-signing scandal in which banks were trying to push through foreclosures with falsified documents and forged signatures.
Judges, overwhelmed with the glut, have been eager to shove foreclosures through the system as quickly as possible just to get them out of the way. Usually, it’s the borrower’s rights that suffer as a result.
It’s in this environment that SB 1666 was born. Similar measures had been proposed in years past, but this year, it appears to be gaining a troubling amount of steam.
The measure promises to help Florida sort through its backlog of foreclosure cases more quickly and “efficiently.” However, we question any level of efficiency when the cost is the rights of homeowners, as well as the integrity of the court.
Here is some of what SB 1666 does:
- It does not require banks to produce either the mortgage or its assignments. These both affect the title record to the property, which in turn means that homeowners will have little chance to show that the documents produced are falsified.
- A judge who is reviewing the file in chambers won’t have the ability to determine whether robo-signing is a factor in the case before her.
- Judges will ultimately have an incomplete picture for assuring that the clear title results from any judgment entered.
- It will strip the homeowner of longstanding rights to petition for the return of his or her home if it is later revealed that the foreclosure was a result of fraud.
The bigger issue with regard to the backlog is the fact that bank attorneys are stubbornly unwilling to do what they can to nudge these cases forward. They know they don’t have the documents required. The ones they do have are often fraudulent.
If we really want to fix this problem, we need to make sure we have enough funding to bring on qualified judges to appropriately review these cases.
Encouragingly, the sponsor of SB 1666 put the measure on hold at the most recent Senate Judiciary committee hearing on April 3. But that hold is temporary, and talks could resume very soon.
It’s up to all of us to voice our strong opposition to this measure. Send your letters to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
- Chair, Senator Tom Lee (R) email@example.com
- Vice Chair, Senator Darren Soto (D) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Rob Bradley (R) email@example.com
- Senator Andy Gardiner (R) gardiner.andy.web@flsenate
- Senator Arthenia L. Joyner (D) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Jack Latvala (R) email@example.com
- Senator Garrett Richter (R) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Jeremy Ring (D) email@example.com
- Senator John Thrasher (R) firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.
CS/SB 1666: Mortgage Foreclosures, Florida Senate
More Blog Entries:
Florida’s “Fair” Foreclosure Act is No Such Thing, March 28, 2013, Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog