Kathleen Passidomo | Let me set the record straight on HB 213

Guest commentary

Much misinformation TRUTH has been written in the blogs (much of it intentional) about my foreclosure bill (House Bill 213) that passed in a bipartisan vote in the House Judiciary Committee last week and was referred to in L.N. Ingram III’s letter to the editor Friday.

I would like to set the record straight. Without commenting on the patronizing and downright nasty tone of Ingram’s letter, H.B. 213 does not contain any provision (to quote him) “that if a bank wrongfully forecloses a mortgage, and homeowners wrongfully lose their home in the foreclosure sale, they cannot get the foreclosure sale set aside, but may merely be awarded monetary damages.”

Yes, correct, the FINAL bill does not contain that provision, but when the letter to the editor was written it did.

The bill contains four key components:

1. Much has been written about the defective documents that have been filed in foreclosure cases over the past several years. In order to put a stop to this practice, the bill sets forth specific requirements of lenders when a foreclosure complaint is filed and requires them to file accurate and complete paperwork at the outset of a foreclosure action or the complaint will be dismissed.

This statement makes no sense. If the documents are defective, they are defective. It does not matter if they fabricate them BEFORE the case is filed or not.

2. Florida law currently contains provisions known as “order to show cause” which allows only the lender to request the court to review the pleadings and issue an order to the defendant to “show cause” why a judgment should not be entered. In this bill, if the defendant fails to respond within 45 days (current law is 20 days), the case moves on to final judgment. If the defendant responds and files a meritorious defense as determined by the judge, the case will be heard by the judge. This bill allows any lienholder (including condominium or homeowners associations) to also ask the court to hold a “show cause” hearing. This provision is critical to condo and homeowners associations which may be owed thousands of dollars in unpaid assessments while the foreclosure case is stalled in the court by a lender that does not want to move the case along.

Rest here…

If anyone else want to send a letter to the editor to set the record strait, you can do so here…