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Proposed legislation spurs debate over non-judicial foreclosure

Florida homeowners have been hit particularly hard by the foreclosure crisis. Adding insult to injury in the eyes of some is a new bill some Floridian legislators are seeking to introduce that might allow for non-judicial foreclosures. Critics fear the law will help banks and hurt homeowners, but those sponsoring the bill argue that homeowners benefit from the law.

The term "non-judicial foreclosure" refers to the ability of lenders to foreclose on a property without having to go before a judge. The process creates a significant benefit to lenders because it is cheaper and quicker and allows lenders to get the home back on the market considerably faster. Homeowners, however, may lose many of their protections in the process.

While it is tough to forecast what the actual implications of the new legislation will have on Floridian homeowners, passions are running high. According to supporters of the new law, it does not actually have anything to do with non-judicial foreclosures. Instead, the law streamlines the foreclosure process, staying fully within the court system rather than going around it.

Opponents of the law disagree with the supporters' interpretation. Despite assurances from lawmakers that the legislation does not take any rights away from homeowners, critics feel that the law is a step in the wrong direction. According to one critic, the bill does nothing to streamline the foreclosure process, reduce the backlog on the court's docket or benefit homeowners in any real way.

With some people predicting that foreclosures will continue to rise in Florida, and courts already struggling to keep pace with foreclosures, it is clear that legislators need to do something. What needs to be done and how the new law, if passed, would affect the fate of Floridian homeowners, however, remains to be seen. In such a volatile legislative climate, South Florida residents seeking protection from foreclosure of their home may want to discuss their situation with an experienced attorney to ensure their legal rights are respected by both the courts and lenders who aim to foreclose on a property.

Source: news-press.com, "Florida bill seeks to hasten foreclosures," Mary Wozniak, Feb. 5, 2012

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