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Florida is currently one of the 26 states to have strict judicial foreclosure proceedings, which means that the banks or lenders are required to seek foreclosure via formal legal process that involves a lawsuit and an official court order approving the foreclosure.  Florida Governor, Rick Scott and some leaders of the Florida Legislature seek to change the foreclosure process in Florida from a judicial process to a non-judicial process. Other proposals involve diverting uncontested foreclosure into a non-judicial process, and allowing the contested foreclosure to remain in the judicial system.

It currently takes about two years on average for a foreclosure action to be completed from start to finish.  Proponents of the non-judicial system argue that speeding up the foreclosure process will allow banks to increase lending to homeowners and that will help the market recover. Others argue, however, that a non-judicial system would reward lenders at the expense of the homeowners, and would remove necessary oversight in the foreclosure process.  Another concern is the effect that the elimination of the foreclosure fee revenue would have in the Florida court system.

A similar bill to change Florida to a non-judicial foreclosure was previously introduced in the Florida Legislature and failed. 

Craig Kelley

Craig Kelley

—Craig I. Kelley, Esquire of Kelley & Fulton, P.L., represents individual and business debtors and creditors in Chapter 7, 11, 12, and 13 proceedings. He is A.V. rated by Martindale-Hubbell directory, which is the highest rating as voted on by his peers in the legal profession. He is an Adjunct Professor of Bankruptcy Law at Palm Beach Community College and lectures nationally on the subject. His office is located in West Palm Beach and he can be reached at 561-491-1200 or Log on to for more information.