Senate committee adopts speedy foreclosure bill
by Kim Miller
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved this morning its version of a quickie foreclosure bill that 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.
The 5-2 vote in favor of Senate Bill 1890 adopted much of the language in a similar House proposal, and moves it to the next Senate committee. Sponsors said it has two more committee stops in the Senate and one in the House.
Opponents of the bill say that while the intent is to hasten foreclosures on abandoned homes, it will trample due process rights and put more onus on the homeowner to disprove the bank’s case and on judges to ferret out bogus documents.
Also of concern is that homeowners who lose their home in a fraudulent foreclosure would be limited to monetary reparations, rather than having their property rights restored, and the bill would allow any lien holder to pursue a faster foreclosure.
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.
Copy of the latest bill below…