Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday designed to speed up foreclosuresin Florida, but critics say the measure is unfair to homeowners.
HB 87 requires homeowners to respond more quickly to foreclosure filings and gives community associations more power in the process.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala and Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, also requires lenders to have their paperwork in order before filing a foreclosure complaint. And it cuts the time period in which banks can seek a deficiency judgment against homeowners to one year from five.It takes an average of nearly 900 days to complete a foreclosure in Florida, one of the longest time lines in the nation, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Supporters of the bill said the delays resulted in vacant homes that have hurt property values.
“Florida’s housing market is important to our economy’s continuous recovery and this bill will aid in that effort by placing abandoned homes, caught up in the foreclosure backlog, back onto the market,” Scott wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Kenneth Detzner.
But Roy Oppenheim, a foreclosure defense lawyer based in Weston, blasted the law.
He said it places a bigger burden on judges and hurts the due process rights of homeowners, forcing them to prove in their initial court pleadings that they don’t deserve to lose the properties.
“The legislature stuck its nose into the judicial branch unconstitutionally and improperly,” Oppenheim said.
Defense lawyers are expected to challenge the law in court.
This story originally appeared on CBS4 Miami’s website and was broadcast on June 5, 2013. It includes an interview with real estate and foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim.
MIAMI (CBS4) – Checks for thousands of Florida foreclosure victims will finally be going out next week, with hundreds of millions of dollars more earmarked for new housing programs statewide.
But there’s a growing debate on where most of the money’s going and if foreclosure victims are really getting their fair share.
Thousands of Florida families forced out of their homes by abusive foreclosure practices will finally be getting some money back. But as real estate and foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim tells CBS4 consumer reporter Al Sunshine, the settlement is a joke.
“It does not compensate people for the destruction of their property rights, their due process rights and the destruction of the legal system.
Oppenheim adds that millions will be going to the courts, and will actually help to speed up future foreclosures statewide.
“A lot of money’s going to the court administrative process to speed the foreclosure process even more, to fuel the rocket dockets. It’s a complete and utter joke. For people illegally losing their home and the destruction of the legal system,” said Oppenheim.
Click here to view the CBS4 segment in its entirety.
Real estate and foreclosure defense attorney, Roy Oppenheim left Wall Street for Main Street, founding Oppenheim Law along with his wife Ellen in 1989 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He also is vice president of Weston Title and creator of the South Florida Law Blog, named the best business and technology blog by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Follow Roy on Twitter at @OpLaw or like Oppenheim Law on Facebook .
Florida homeowners might have a new definition for bank robbers… With details now coming to light on a possible deal between banks and the state governments, it’s seems the chances of these financial institutions being held accountable is less and less likely.
South Florida law blogger and foreclosure attorney Roy Oppenheim strongly opposed the deal, which is being sought by state Attorneys General including Florida’s Pam Bondi, in a recent FOX newspiece. Now New York Times columnist Gretchen Morgensen has backed up Oppenheim’s assertion that the deal, in its current proposed form, is not worth the potential relief that it might provide to homeowners.
Oppenheim called the reported $20-25 billion dollars in principal that homeowners would be forgiven for “a drop in the bucket” and now Morgensen reports that deal would only cost the banks between 3.5 and 5 billion dollars in actual cash, to be paid by about a dozen or so institutions. The rest of the banks’ penalties would come in the form of credits.
While HUD secretary Shaun Donovan insisted in the Times article that the settlement will hold banks accountable, both Morgensen and Oppenheim remain unconvinced. Oppenheim told FOX the deal isn’t worth a “deal with the devil”, and that it robs homeowners of the chance to bring legal action against the banks.
And will it really provide the relief homeowners are seeking?? The Times piece points to a 2008 settlement involving Countrywide Financial that promised $8.7 billion in relief to borrowers in Illinois and California that failed to deliver anything close to that. And California is one of several states that has backed out of this current negotiation.