Florida Lawmakers Aim to Speed Up Foreclosures

Florida has battled the highest rate of foreclosures in the country; long processing times have created a backlog in the state. Lawmakers are trying to get a controversial fast-track foreclosure bill to speed up foreclosures in the state.

The bill recently passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is reportedly gaining momentum and support.

Florida faces a foreclosure backlog of 371,119 cases.

“It’s sort of clogging up the free market in real estate, having all those foreclosures in the pipeline,” says David Hart, Florida Chamber of Commerce executive vice president.

However, the bill has been criticized by some who say it weakens legal protections for home owners and forces home owners to quickly mount a defense or risk losing their home, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. Lawmakers amended the bill this week to respond to some of that criticism, which would now allow home owners to file any papers indicating they have a valid defense and then to be removed from the fast-track process.

The bill still has to go through two more committees to pass in the Senate. Last year, the bill was passed in the House but never made it to the Senate floor for a vote.

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