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Fast-Track Efforts Good for Florida Foreclosure Investing

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Fast track efforts by judges and lawmakers in Florida to move foreclosure cases will benefit the statewide housing market and people engaged in Florida foreclosure investing.

Courts across Florida, represented by the Florida State Courts Administration, have requested $9.6 million to clear the courts of the overwhelming foreclosure backlog and facilitate housing market recovery. The money will be used to pay retired senior judges and additional case managers that will be hired to help move the backlog.

According to the state courts, there are about 500,000 pending real estate foreclosure cases throughout the state, including more than 80,000 cases in Miami-Dade, the most clobbered county. Next are Palm Beach County, which has a backlog of 55,000 cases, and Broward County, which has 36,880 pending cases. Saint Lucie and Martin have 11,220 and 2,530 pending cases, respectively.

Florida judges explained that if the foreclosure cases are left to rot in storage rooms while waiting for resolution, the statewide housing market cannot recover as foreclosures will continue to push down values. Additionally, if cases take more than one year to resolve, abandoned houses will deteriorate, association dues will hurt condo residents and families will continue to live in uncertainties.

If foreclosures are resolved, the properties are saved by owners or are taken back by lenders and sold to owner-occupant buyers or to people engaged in Florida foreclosure investing. The important thing, according to the judges, is that every foreclosure property will be owned legally by an entity, either an investor or owner, and that no unit will be left to dilapidate and blight the neighborhood or push down property values.

State lawmakers have been considering the court budget request. The Senate proposal included the full amount requested while the House proposal set aside only $1 million. The money will be sourced from the State Courts Revenue Trust Fund.

Other lawmakers are also looking at other ways to fast track the foreclosure process. Representative Tom Grady and Senator Mike Bennett have sponsored a bill that would allow mortgage lenders to carry out non-judicial foreclosures after getting agreement from the borrowers.

If the nonjudicial foreclosure proposal is approved, foreclosures can be completed in three months. Anthony DiMarco of the Florida Bankers Association explained that condo associations will especially benefit from the bill.

A lot of Florida judges, however, oppose the nonjudicial proposal. Although it can facilitate foreclosures for the market and for people engaged in Florida foreclosure investing, it can strip the rights of homeowners to due process.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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