Two of the most controversial pieces of legislation confronting the 2013 session passed the Florida House Civil Justice Subcommittee Thursday, largely along partisan lines. They aim to reform Florida's foreclosure process and to curb the influence of certain "foreign laws" in family court proceedings.
HB 87 ("Mortgage Foreclosures"), sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Passidimo, R-Naples, aims to streamline and expedite the foreclosure process through several provisions. It reduces the statute of limitations for deficiency judgments from five years to one, and requires the lender in a foreclosure action to provide certain documents proving ownership of the loan before a court can begin foreclosure proceedings. In addition, it allows third-party lien holders to initiate those proceedings and reduces the number of hearings.
Finally, the bill provides protections to "bona-fide purchasers" of foreclosed homes: when two or more banks claim to own the mortgage, they will have to settle the issue between themselves, without involving the new homeowner.