The Real Deal Miami

Legal tussle expected over Florida mediation plan

February 03, 2010 02:27PM

Florida is one of 13 states that sends foreclosures through its courts, and the real estate collapse has created a brutal bottleneck at the bench. In Lee County in Southwest Florida, which has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, there are 23,000 cases that still need to be heard. To unclog the system, the Florida Bankers Association wants to create a nonjudicial avenue to settling foreclosure fights, though opponents say it will remove some of the few projections embattled homeowners enjoy.The bankers group wants to set up a procedure though which banks could take over homes before they start to deteriorate or get abused as abandoned eyesores. In exchange for being able to recoup losses on property more quickly, the banks would not try to pursue outstanding homeowner debts. Bankers association president Alex Sanchez has yet to find a legislative sponsor for the bill when the Florida State Legislature convenes in March. [American Banker]