A controversial bill that would allow for a faster foreclosure process in Florida passed the Senate Judiciary Committee early on Monday, paving the way for the next round of committee debates.
Receiving a 5 to 2 vote, Senate Bill 1890 would “reduce the amount of time a bank could pursue a homeowner for back debt, and aims to rapidly churn through cases where a home is abandoned,” stated Kim Miller in a Palm Beach Post blog on the bill.
Along with a sister bill in the house, the “quickie” foreclosure bill has been criticized by some lawmakers and housing activists for restricting the rights of homeowners in place of expediency.
“Lynn Drysdale, an attorney with the Jacksonville-area Legal Aid Society, said the bill is unnecessary because banks already have the power to foreclosure more quickly on an abandoned property, but choose not to,” Miller reported.
David Simmons, a Republican Senator from Altamonte Springs, echoed Drysdale’s concerns.
“The judges are saying that they can easily move these cases along but when they come in the attorneys aren’t prepared,” Simmons said in Miller’s article. “It’s the attorneys the banks hired that aren’t doing the jobs they need to do to move the cases along.”
Jack Latvala, though, a Republican Senator from St. Petersburg, said the bill would protect homeowners, especially by decreasing the timeline for deficiency judgments from the banks.