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One Step Forward And Two Steps Back

I recently wrote a piece about how the Florida Legislature may finally be taking steps to help Florida’s
distressed homeowners. However, a new bill is cruising through the Florida legislature that crushes my
optimism. Recently, House Bill 87 was re-introduced by members of the Florida Legislature. The Bill is
aimed at streamlining the foreclosure process in Florida, but poses immediate risks for more foreclosure
fraud and deprivations of due process.

House Bill 87 seeks to expound upon F.S. 702.10(1), which provides a procedure whereby a Court
can issue an Order to Show Cause, which quite literally forces a defendant to “show cause” why a
foreclosure judgment should not be entered against them. The effects of the law are hugely detrimental
to those individuals who are attempting to mitigate their losses, and may be in the middle of an arduous
short sale, or loan modification process. Many times, a borrower who has been put through the
ringer by their bank has an arbitrary deadline placed upon them by the court to get a deal done, or be
foreclosed. What the Legislature fails to recognize is that the delays in the loss mitigation attempts are
almost always attributable to bank delays and turnover. The borrowers who are directly impacted by
the show cause hearings are the innocent party in the discussions.

Currently, the law only applies to commercial foreclosures, however, this Bill seeks to extend the law
over residential foreclosure again. Moreover, the Bill seeks to provide this power to any lien holder on
the property, even a remote creditor. This Bill poses an immediate threat to Florida homeowners and
will ultimately provide the banks, and creditors, one more tool to steam roll past the homeowner and
onto a final judgment of foreclosure.

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. Hoek has a law degree from Florida State University College of Law and is the managing attorney of the Tampa office of DeWitt Law Firm, P.A.  Mr. Hoek earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and also holds a Legal Masters (LL.M.) in Land Use and Environmental Law from the University of Florida College of Law.
Mr. Hoek is also a licensed real estate agent with Smith and Associates in Tampa, Florida, and also works closely with Florida Property Title Services, LLC.  Mr. Hoek is actively involved in both the Tampa Bay community and real estate market.  He can be reached by phone at (813) 251-2701 or via email at Andrewhoek@dewittlaw.com.