To the editor:
Do we want a community or do we want a Pottersville? HB 87 is a proposed bill that is in review with the Florida House. The Bill's aim is to speed up foreclosures in our court system.
If passed HB 87 would deny homeowners due process in the court system. HB 87 will give banks more power to foreclose on hardworking Floridian homeowners.
Many of these banks committed fraudulent activities or predatory lending.
Lynn Drysdale, of Jacksonville Legal Aid, stated, "in 49 states it was the lenders themselves who are not doing what they are supposed to do." Then she quoted a saying, "The holder may be a thief" - meaning judicial decisions could be based on fraudulent bank documents.
As I stood near a voting site this November, I heard a local businesswoman talk about how she was fearful of losing her home to the bank. Currently, the Florida Chambers of Commerce are supporting HB 87, which is surprising because, "Homeowners are almost three times as likely to own a business" and "Homeownership and the housing sector help to fuel the national economy, through direct spending on housing, taxation, and consumer spending by homeowners.
If passed, HB 87 will re-flood the market - home prices will go down again, leading to reduced revenue for cities and schools.
Animal shelters will become further flooded as more foreclosed homeowners give up pets.
According to the FBI, of 2.9 million eligible home(s) only 521,630 have been granted permanent modifications." Showing banks are failing their agreement with the American people.
"During 2010, Florida was among the top 10 states (and) has continued to rank first in fraud reporting since 2006, and its fraud rate was more than three times the expected amount."
Bank of America has started trial "modifications for only 7 percent of 835,680" eligible borrowers.
Ohio homeowners have filed suit against Bank of America for refusing modifications.
Denying Floridians due process in the courts is not "doing things right", it's handing our court system over to the banks. If we really want a strong economy in Florida, the first step is protecting consumers who invest in Florida real estate. This type of every man for himself legislation will turn our communities into Pottersville.
Is this what we want?
This past year I spoke with many in our community who are still dealing with the banks. Some who had to use up retirement savings to get through the crisis. HB 87 will affect our neighbors, veterans, seniors, families with children, caretakers, and we must remember they are the ones who "do most of the working, paying, and living and dying in this community."
Here is a petition to oppose the bill: signon.org/sign/kill-house-bill-87?source=s.fwd&r_by=1845438
Or visit, Move Your Moneyproject.org/watch-video