Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Compassionate Legislators at work?

In our best interests, God forbid.

I just read some incredible news. To "get the real estate back on track" this is what they had come up with.

For the Florida Bankers Association it's just business.

As it is to charge consumers 38.9 billion dollars in overdraft fees in 2009 (approximate total charged in the US).

Or to gamble our savings in "derivatives" speculation that drives the whole country to the brink of ruin.

Here is what I read today. And I hope it 's just a false alarm.

Foreclosure bill rouses rally

From FloridaRealtors.org – April 20, 2010 – Lawyers and consumer advocates plan a rally in Tallahassee on Wednesday to protest a controversial bill that would speed up foreclosures in Florida.

The legislative bill would allow lenders to foreclose on homeowners without approval from a judge in as little as 90 days.

It appears to have stalled, but the group said it wants to send a message to legislators. “Do not take away valuable consumer protections,” the lawyers say in a written announcement. “We want to work together to solve the current crisis.” One of the lawyers organizing the event is Matthew Weidner of St. Petersburg. He says hundreds, possibly thousands, will attend.

“People feel insecure about their futures and finances,” Weidner said. “This is an issue that touches everyone.” House Bill 1523 would allow lenders to skip legal proceedings unless the borrower requests the foreclosure go through the courts. Florida law requires a lender to file a foreclosure lawsuit and have the foreclosure granted by a judge. There are nearly 500,000 pending foreclosure cases in Florida, among the worst in the nation. Because of the backlog, foreclosures can take months or years. Critics say the bill significantly shortens the foreclosure process, making it more difficult for troubled borrowers to save their houses. They say the bill would not help the backlog of foreclosures because it applies only to new cases.

Supporters say it would help judges and be good for neighbors weary of long-vacant houses in their community. There are 30 states that have a nonjudicial foreclosure process, allowing some lenders to foreclose on properties in as little as a month. Anthony DiMarco, executive vice president for governmental affairs for the Florida Bankers Association, said lenders hope the bill will pass. “We’re disappointed that it may not pass this session,” DiMarco said. “But we understand that we’re making a major change to the law. What we’re proposing won’t solve everything, but we can’t get the real estate market back on track until we deal with these foreclosures.”

Henry B. Nathan is a Florida Realtor at United Realty Group Inc.
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