Every year, the Florida legislature, in cooperation with lobbying groups and organizations, tries their very best to make living in communities governed by homeowner's associations a bit better. Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes they fail, miserably.
Although the year has just begun, the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) has already worked on having their bill (HB 73) out of House bill drafting. Some of the highlights of this year's bill include:
- Exempting elevator retrofit from code update requirements;
- Revising provisions relating to board member terms;
- Revising condominium election, meeting notice and recordkeeping requirements;
- Providing requirements for condominium election challenges, board recalls, and installation of impact glass or other code-compliant windows;
- Revising records not accessible to members or parcel owners; and
- Revising provisions relating to amending governing documents.
They are hoping to add additional points to the bill in the first committee.
Another bill that was introduced last year and is back again with some changes is Representative Passidomo's Mortgage Foreclosure bill. HB 87 primarily affects mortgage foreclosures, and contains the following highlights:
- Limiting the period for an action to enforce a claim of a deficiency judgment following a foreclosure action to one (1) year.
- Specifying the required contents of a complaint to foreclose a mortgage, and authorizing sanctions against plaintiffs who fail to comply with these requirements.
- Limiting the ability to challenge a final judgment of foreclosure on a mortgage after the time to file an appeal has expired. Any challenges are limited to monetary relief, and the court is prohibited from granting certain relief affecting title to foreclosed property.
- Limiting the amount of a deficiency judgment to the difference between the judgment amount and the fair market value of the property on the date of the foreclosure sale.
- Expanding the ability for banks to expedite mortgage foreclosure actions, and providing condominium, homeowners' and cooperative associations the ability to speed up the mortgage foreclosure process when the bank action is stalled.
- Requiring lenders seeking to foreclose on a lost note to post a bond or other collateral to protect the actual holder of the note.
The main impact of HB 87 for community associations is the ability to move a sluggish mortgage foreclosure case forward through an Order to Show Cause. This proposed bill will offer community associations another strategy to force banks to proceed with foreclosures and complete foreclosure sales.
Both bills have yet to be assigned to committees and do not have their Senate companions. The West Palm Beach HOA examiner will keep you posted on the progress of these bills and any other bills affecting community associations.
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