Senate passes bill speeding up foreclosure process
The Senate version was tabled Thursday in favor of Florida House Bill 87, which passed the House by an 87-26 vote April 29.
The legislation, which was pushed by State Rep. Kathleen Passidomo of Naples, was positioned as a way to stabilize South Florida’s housing market. It reduces the Florida statute of limitations for deficiency judgments on a foreclosure action to one year from five years and requires the person filing the foreclosure to give the court information about lost, destroyed or stolen promissory notes as a safeguard against wrongful filings.
Real estate defense attorney Roy D. Oppenheim said the governor may veto the bill because it is retroactive, a condition that led him to veto an alimony bill that passed the Legislature by a super majority.
Oppenheim, managing part of Oppenheim & Pilelsky in Weston, accused the bill’s supporters of passing it through a process of smoke and mirrors.
It skipped the Senate appropriations committee, and “they presented the House bill as the Senate bill, he said.
“Talk about craziness, Oppenheim said. “The process has been so shameful and disrespectful to the order of law and our Constitution.”
Foreclosure defense attorneys generally opposed the bill because it would expedite the foreclosure process by cutting down the time homeowners have to defend themselves and by holding expedited trials.
“Ultimately, it will turn the judiciary process into a private collection agency for the banks, cutting corners, cutting due process, cutting equal protection,” Oppenheim said.
Roy Oppenheim is Florida’s leading real estate and foreclosure defense attorney. He left Wall Street for Main Street and, in 1989, founded Oppenheim Law , Weston Title and the South Florida Law Blog with his partner and wife, Ellen. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping to defend homeowners’ led Roy to start “In the Trenches” where he speaks out for the people and their constitutional rights. Prominently known as a legal blogger and often quoted in the media, Roy can be found in the newsroom on Twitter at @OpLaw and on Facebook.