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May It Flee The Court . . .

The banner headline of a front-page, above-the-fold article in today’s St. Petersburg Times poses the possibility of removing the courts from the foreclosure process in the state of Florida.

With the nation’s second highest foreclosure rate, and with the seeming intention of addressing the glut of homes awaiting foreclosure, Governor Rick Scott and GOP leaders in Tallahassee are considering legislation that would involve a non-judicial system. Instead of judges presiding over the proceedings, the default process would involve no court intervention whatsoever, subjecting the full handling of these matters to whatever requirements are established by state law.

A homesteader’s right to access the courts? To have one’s dispute regarding property rights fully heard in a court of law? Those principles would be replaced with the more streamlined and inexpensive approach already taken up by such states as Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada.

While adjudication in court costs more in terms of time and money, one can only wonder what the cost would be to our rights should we abandon the due process currently afforded by our legal system.

We’ll keep you informed as this issue winds its way through the halls of politics.

Please be advised that this article does not constitute legal advice nor does it provide any basis to form an attorney-client relationship. Nothing in this article should be copied without the express permission of the author.

Mr. Hounchell has a law degree from The University of Florida College of Law and he is a partner in The Law Offices of Charles A. Hounchell, P.A. � Attorneys & Counselors at Law, in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Hounchell obtained his undergraduate degree from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. and he obtained his MBA in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (“Thunderbird”) in Glendale, Arizona..

Mr. Hounchell is a licensed real estate agent with Smith and Associates, Inc. www.smithandassociates.com; www.livecasanova.com. He has lived in many different countries, including Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Germany and he speaks Spanish and Portuguese. A significant portion of Mr. Hounchell’s law practice is concentrated on Real Estate Law. He can be reached at 813-251-2701 or charlie@floridapropertylaw.com