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Florida is running in the red, budget-wise, but that doesn’t mean that the legislators in Tallahassee have their hands tied completely.  Several new laws are being debated now in an effort to help the Florida real estate market, and journalists like Toluse Olorunnipa of the Miami Herald are watching these efforts (for the latest, check out Olorunnipa’s March 7th article, “Florida legislature to consider new real estate laws”).  The proposed new Florida real estate laws include:

Senate Bill 0390 (Read the full text here) – Omits the Recapture Rule in the Current Save Our Homes Law for Florida Homesteads

This bill will not become law in and of itself because it seeks to amend the Florida Constitution’s Save Our Homes Law and will therefore need a majority vote of the Florida voters.  If the voters agree with this proposal, then new Florida law would shield the taxable property value of a homestead from going up in years where its market value is going down, thereby helping with homeowner property taxes, and it would become effective on January 1, 2013.  

Senate Bill 1288 (similar to HB 0799) (Read the full text here) – Allows Nonjudicial Foreclosures for Commercial Property

Currently, Florida is a “judicial foreclosure state,” which means that banks must file a lawsuit and go through court proceedings to foreclose on real estate.  If this proposed legislation becomes law, banks will have the choice to file a lawsuit or to opt for a “trustee foreclosure,” which is done without the need of a lawsuit and court order approving of the foreclosure.  Trustee foreclosures are faster and cheaper than the formal judicial foreclosures.  This law would not apply to residential properties.

3.  Senate Bill 712 and House Bill 1373  (Read the full text here) — Addressing the Problem of Condo Owners Not Paying Their Monthly Condo Fees

These are identical pieces of proposed legislation in both the House and Senate, that if they become law will deal with those who are late in their monthly condo association fees (assessments) by allowing the condomium association to have more power in forcing the condo owner to bring his or her assessments (condo fees) current with tools like blocking their WiFi/internet access or stopping their cable TV access. 

4.  Senate Bill 1516 and  HB 1195  (Read full text (original version) here.)  Condo Associations Allowed to Collect Rent Directly and Get Clear Title After Foreclosure

Identical pieces of proposed legislation in the House and Senate,  that are designed to help condo associations in two ways:  (1) empowering the condo associations to collect rents straight from the condo tenants until the rents are current; and (2) legally holding condo associations to not be liable or responsible for the past due assessments on any condo foreclosures when they take title to the property.

If you want to follow along with any of these proposed laws online, then you may do so by signing up for a free Senate Tracker membership and after logging into your account, entering the Senate Bill as shown above.

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