Foreclosure Process Among Top Legislative Priorities for Florida Realtors

Foreclosure Process Among Top Legislative Priorities for Florida Realtors

BY: ESTHER CHO

Realtors in Florida are no stranger to the economic impact of foreclosures. So, it’s no surprise that the Florida Realtors addressed the state’s judicial foreclosure process in its list of five legislative priorities for 2013.

According to recent data from CoreLogic, the state’s foreclosure inventory rate is 10.1 percent, the highest among any other state. And, in a one-year period ending in December, the state has seen about 98,000 properties become lost to the foreclosure process, the second highest in the country. Assisting in the buildup for foreclosures is the state’s lengthy foreclosure timeline.

According to the association, the average length of time between the first foreclosure filing and bank repossession is 676 days, while the national average stands at 318 days.

“Backlogs are especially heavy in circuit courts in South Florida because of a higher volume of  foreclosures compared to other parts of the state,” Florida Realtors stated.

Rep. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) reintroduced HB 87 earlier this year in January.

One provision includes more stringent paperwork requirements for banks, requiring them to certify they hold the correct documents to execute a foreclosure.

Another provision gives lienholders, such as condo associations, authority to expedite the foreclosure process.

The bill also includes a protection for consumers by giving lenders less time to pursue a deficiency judgment—one year rather than five.

“Florida Realtors wants to ensure that any alternative procedures designed to speed up the foreclosure process in uncontested or meritless cases have safeguards that protect all parties,” the group stated.

Another issue on the Florida Realtors’ priorities list was commercial rental tax. The association explained the state is the only to charge a tax for commercial rents, with tentants paying 6 percent tax on rent.

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