Realtors in Florida should prepare to brush up on their short-sale skills, as a new law aimed at speeding up the foreclosure process was passed on June 7. Supporters of the bill noted that the new law would help to improve the state's economy, which is currently floundering. Before the law was passed, the foreclosure process was taking an average of 800 days to complete.
Bank employees urged Governor Rick Scott to sign the bill, launching an email campaign outlining the reasons behind the bill in the week before the signing deadline, according to the Tampa Tribune. More than 300 recorded emails were sent to Scott from across Florida.
"[This bill] will put foreclosed homes back onto the housing market and allow Florida families who have experienced a foreclosure to begin working to repair their credit and finances," said Scott in his signing letter, according to the news source.
The Florida Bankers Association took responsibility for the email blast, according to the news source. The association's chief lobbyist, Anthony DiMarco, noted that they supported the law because a shortened foreclosure process will allow more homes to be listed more quickly, and let the state's economy heal.
Florida's real estate expected to bounce back
The number of homes that filed for foreclosure in May was 20 percent higher than in April, and 12 percent higher than May of 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Nationally, repossessions rose 11 percent from April to May, the result of an increase in 33 states.
While the housing market in South Florida seems to be improving month over month - The median sale price in Miami rose 5 percent from 2012, according to RealtyTrac - the rate of foreclosure has increased as well. Foreclosure activity in Miami-Dade County rose by 78.4 percent from May of last year, but it is possible that much of that increase is due to the process itself, according to the Miami Herald. Foreclosure cases that were delayed in light of regulatory concerns regarding the lack of attention paid to case specifics.
Those sorts of delays are what the law seeks to prevent. A speedier foreclosure process allows the market to absorb foreclosed houses more quickly, allowing the market to recover. Real estate agents are required for these sales, and by completing them at an increased pace, they allow the sellers to become buyers again.