[In The Trenches] written by Roy Oppenheim, Oppenheim Law.
Now that Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed HB 87, better known as the fast-track foreclosure bill, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the winners and losers who will be impacted by this misguided piece of legislation.
Suffice it to say that every law passed by the legislature has various special interests that are for and against a particular piece of legislation: HB 87 was no different. From the beginning, this bill was very complex because there were so many different parties many of who had very strong interests in either its passage or failure.
Earlier this year, HB 87 sparked a rare internal fight among members of the Florida Bar Real Estate section. On one side were Florida Bar members, like myself, who help homeowners facing foreclosure. On the other side were members of the Bar’s Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section who hired a lobbyist to get the bill passed. Members of the Real Property section say the bill offers many new protections to distressed homeowners and buyers of repossessed homes.
Ultimately, the bill that passed is a hodgepodge of elements that likely will gum up the foreclosure process because there are parts of it that are either unconstitutional or sufficiently ambiguous so that controversies will linger on in the appellate courts for years.
So, who wins and who loses?
Title Insurance Underwriters win
The clear winners, first and foremost, are the title insurance underwriters. They basically got a “get out of jail” card for free by no longer being liable or responsible for a bad foreclosure that they insured to a purchaser of a property.