Soto Continues to Fight for Florida’s Families in Foreclosure

Fraudclosure

Soto Continues to Fight for Florida’s Families in Foreclosure

Tallahassee – As Florida continues to maintain its shameful distinction as first in the nation for housing foreclosures, state Senator Darren Soto (D-Orlando) announced Wednesday his filing of four bills intended to better help Floridians save their homes and protect them from unscrupulous foreclosure practices.

“These bills represent a vision for resolving the foreclosure crisis where we work with families to save their homes and make them more affordable as well as provide meaningful debt relief,” said Senator Soto, who last year spearheaded efforts to crack down on foreclosure mills.  “This vision stands in stark contrast to the numerous bills filed over the past few years with the sole intention of kicking thousands of Florida’s working families out of their homes for the sake of expediency.  We can and must do better,”

Soto filed Senate Bill 1236, the “Mortgage Principal Reduction Act,” which would require the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to apply for $100 million of the federal government’s Hardest-Hit Fund program in order to begin a mortgage principal reduction program for Floridians whose homestead properties are in foreclosure.

Senator Soto and Representative Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) also filed Senate Bill 1226 and House Bill 371 aimed at giving homeowners relief after having their homestead property foreclosed upon.  Currently, lenders are able to file a deficiency judgment – additional debts assessed by creditors against homeowners to make up for any loss in property value from the original mortgage amount – up to 5 years after the final judgment of foreclosure.  Senator Soto proposes to change that length of time to only one year.  Additionally, lenders would have only two years to collect the outstanding debt, sparing homeowners from collectors’ current license to haunt them for up to two decades.

Soto will also be introducing the “Short Sale Debt Relief Act” (SB 1228), along with Representative Fullwood (D-Jacksonville).  This bill will make deficiency judgments unenforceable for short sales where the original mortgagee’s debt is greater than 20% of the fair market value.

Finally, Senator Soto and Representative Jose Rodriguez (D-Miami) are working on the “Florida Mortgage Collection Fairness Act” (SB 1218), which would prohibit mortgage collection firms from falsifying evidence in foreclosure proceedings.

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Press Release

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2 Responses to “Soto Continues to Fight for Florida’s Families in Foreclosure”
  1. Is this the country you grew up in and the freedom you were guaranteed? http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=217983

  2. http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2013/02/orlando-senator-files-four-foreclosure-bills-calling-floridas-no-1-ranking-shameful.html Thank you Mr. Soto… “Finally, Senator Soto and Representative Jose Rodriguez (D-Miami) are working on the “Florida Mortgage Collection Fairness Act” (SB 1218), which would prohibit mortgage collection firms from falsifying evidence in foreclosure proceedings.” But we already have CRIMINAL laws not being enforced…Here are 4 quick ones… 2011 Florida Statutes
    Title XLVI CRIMES Chapter 817 FRAUDULENT PRACTICES View Entire Chapter

    817.54Obtaining of mortgage, mortgage note, promissory note, etc., by false representation.—Any person who, with intent to defraud, obtains any mortgage, mortgage note, promissory note or other instrument evidencing a debt from any person or obtains the signature of any person to any mortgage, mortgage note, promissory note or other instrument evidencing a debt by color or aid of fraudulent or false representation or pretenses, or obtains the signature of any person to a mortgage, mortgage note, promissory note, or other instrument evidencing a debt, the false making whereof would be punishable as forgery, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
    History.—s. 1, ch. 63-142; s. 880, ch. 71-136.

    2011 Florida Statutes
    Title XLVI CRIMES Chapter 817 FRAUDULENT PRACTICES View Entire Chapter

    817.545Mortgage fraud.—
    (1)For the purposes of the section, the term “mortgage lending process” means the process through which a person seeks or obtains a residential mortgage loan, including, but not limited to, the solicitation, application or origination, negotiation of terms, third-party provider services, underwriting, signing and closing, and funding of the loan. Documents involved in the mortgage lending process include, but are not limited to, mortgages, deeds, surveys, inspection reports, uniform residential loan applications, or other loan applications; appraisal reports; HUD-1 settlement statements; supporting personal documentation for loan applications such as W-2 forms, verifications of income and employment, credit reports, bank statements, tax returns, and payroll stubs; and any required disclosures.
    (2)A person commits the offense of mortgage fraud if, with the intent to defraud, the person knowingly:
    (a)Makes any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intention that the misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission will be relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other person or entity involved in the mortgage lending process; however, omissions on a loan application regarding employment, income, or assets for a loan which does not require this information are not considered a material omission for purposes of this subsection.
    (b)Uses or facilitates the use of any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission during the mortgage lending process with the intention that the material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission will be relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower, or any other person or entity involved in the mortgage lending process; however, omissions on a loan application regarding employment, income, or assets for a loan which does not require this information are not considered a material omission for purposes of this subsection.
    (c)Receives any proceeds or any other funds in connection with the mortgage lending process that the person knew resulted from a violation of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
    (d)Files or causes to be filed with the clerk of the circuit court for any county of this state a document involved in the mortgage lending process which contains a material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission.
    (3)An offense of mortgage fraud may not be predicated solely upon information lawfully disclosed under federal disclosure laws, regulations, or interpretations related to the mortgage lending process.
    (4)For the purpose of venue under this section, any violation of this section is considered to have been committed:
    (a)In the county in which the real property is located; or
    (b)In any county in which a material act was performed in furtherance of the violation.
    (5)(a)Any person who violates subsection (2) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
    (b)Any person who violates subsection (2), and the loan value stated on documents used in the mortgage lending process exceeds $100,000, commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
    History.—s. 13, ch. 2007-182; s. 2, ch. 2008-80.

    2011 Florida Statutes
    Title XLVI CRIMES Chapter 817 FRAUDULENT PRACTICES View Entire Chapter

    817.02Obtaining property by false personation.—Whoever falsely personates or represents another, and in such assumed character receives any property intended to be delivered to the party so personated, with intent to convert the same to his or her own use, shall be punished as if he or she had been convicted of larceny.
    History.—s. 49, sub-ch. 4, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2466; GS 3321; RGS 5156; CGL 7259; s. 1244, ch. 97-102.

    2011 Florida Statutes
    Title XLVI CRIMES Chapter 831 FORGERY AND COUNTERFEITING View Entire Chapter

    831.01Forgery.—Whoever falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits a public record, or a certificate, return or attestation of any clerk or register of a court, public register, notary public, town clerk or any public officer, in relation to a matter wherein such certificate, return or attestation may be received as a legal proof; or a charter, deed, will, testament, bond, or writing obligatory, letter of attorney, policy of insurance, bill of lading, bill of exchange or promissory note, or an order, acquittance, or discharge for money or other property, or an acceptance of a bill of exchange or promissory note for the payment of money, or any receipt for money, goods or other property, or any passage ticket, pass or other evidence of transportation issued by a common carrier, with intent to injure or defraud any person, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
    History.—s. 1, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2479; s. 6, ch. 4702, 1899; GS 3359; RGS 5206; CGL 7324; s. 1, ch. 59-31; s. 1, ch. 61-98; s. 959, ch. 71-136; s. 32, ch. 73-334.

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