JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott has signed a new bill into law that is supposed to speed up the foreclosure process. Many Florida homes that have been foreclosed upon have sat that way for months, even years because of the huge backlog in the courts.
"This is sort of like killing a fly with a cannon rather than a flyswatter," says attorney Chip Parker.
Parker says the new law turns due process on its head. Now, instead of banks proving why they should foreclose, homeowners have to prove to the banks why they should keep their homes. It's a complex legal process that the homeowner needs to learn quickly, and there's little time to do it. Even if you get to court, the bill says a judge only "may" consider your side.
"They will use that term 'may' not to consider evidence in favor of the homeowner," Parker says.
He adds that he's seen many clients left out in the cold by the foreclosure proecss and thinks the new law is another slap in the face.
"And the fact that the only redress for a homeowner is to try to prove what the value of that was in terms of dollars is Un-American.
Parker and a group of other Florida attorneys will be challenging the law in the weeks to come.