Settlement, House bill could fast-track Florida foreclosures – Tampa Bay Times

Now that a nationwide settlement with banks regarding robo-signing and other abuses has been reached, lawmakers in Tallahassee are looking to speed up foreclosures. But, one of the factors putting downward presure on home values and creating more foreclosures is the market being flooded by low priced, foreclosed homes.

New Federal Regulations prevent Florida from transitioning to non-judicial foreclosure. As a way around this prohibition legislation has been introduced to allow expidited foreclosure procedures in certain circumstances, such as if the home is confirmed to be abandoned. This legislation may be redundant in that the foreclosure statute already allows for immediate entry of a final judgement pursuant to an order to show cause why said order should not be entered. If the home has actually been abandoned this process should suffice.

As for the effect of expediting foreclosures, in September 2010 the number of monthly foreclosure filings in Florida was about 60,000. That number is currently 25,000. This reduction in numbers of foreclosure filings lead to less final judgments and sales, leading to less underpriced, foreclosed homes on the market. This lead to values starting to stablize. Introducing more foreclosed homes onto the market will lead to lower prices and less consumer confidence in the housing market (people dont want to buy a home that will continue to devalue after purchase). The options may be an immediate, severe decline in home values hoprefully followed by a recovery, or a drawn out stabilization followed by a delayed recovery. The question is what will result in a stronger housing market in the long term.


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