“It’s not the bank’s fault or the lender’s fault, if you will,” Richter said. “It’s not the lender’s fault when someone loses their job. The mortgage document basically says I promise to pay, it doesn’t say I promise to pay if I’m employed.”


Foreclosure bill narrowly passes last committee despite some Republican hesitation

TALLAHASSEE — Approval of a Naples lawmaker’s foreclosure bill Monday drew outbursts from a crowd of opponents gathered for a Senate meeting devoted to the legislation, aimed at hastening foreclosure proceedings.

The close affirmative from the Senate panel included hesitation from three Republicans, two of whom voted no. One Democrat voted for the measure.

The 6-4 vote at its last committee stop sends the Senate version of a bill propelled by state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, to the chamber’s floor.

But it reaches the full Senate at the height of protests from consumer advocates from around the state, who have persistently decried the bill as it advanced through the Legislature. After Senate members asked questions in the 75-minute meeting Monday, little time was left for public testimony.

“They just don’t give the people time to speak,” said Susan Gabel, an Orange County member of PICO United Florida, an organization of religious activists.

When Banking and Insurance Committee Chair Garrett Richter, R-Naples, stopped public input at 5:58 p.m., one woman stormed out of the committee room sobbing and telling a Capitol staffer she was having a panic attack. Several people rushed the floor or shouted.

Rest here…