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Negron: less government interference in foreclosures

by Dara Kam | January 11th, 2011

Sen. Joe Negron jumped on some of Attorney General Pam Bondi’s staff during a presentation on investigations into the state’s foreclosure crisis at today’s Banking and Insurance Committee meeting.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is continuing an investigation launched last year by predecessor Bill McCollum that thus far has found that the foreclosure process in Florida is in total disarray.

But Negron objected to some of the AG’s presentation and questioned whether the investigation is beyond the state’s top legal eagle’s scope of responsibility.

First, Negron didn’t like the term “foreclosure mills” referring to law firms that churn out the cases and are under investigation and being sued for racketeering and other allegations.

“It could also be called a very busy law firm because you provide very good service to your clients,” suggested Negron, R-Stuart, a lawyer with the West Palm Beach-based Gunster law firm.

He also didn’t like the finding by Scott Palmer, the head of the AG’s mortgage fraud investigation, that banks aren’t using loan modifications enough to avoid foreclosure.

“Where does…the government have the right to tell the bank what’s in your best interest?” he wanted to know.

It’s all part of the attorney general’s investigation into unfair and deceptive trade practices, Palmer replied.

Florida leads the nation in the percentage of homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages, with nearly half of the homeowners underwater on their homes, according to the AG’s office.

The best way to deal with the problem is to get Florida’s economy back on track, according to committee Chairman Garrett Richter, a banker.

“We’ve got to put people back to work. That’s a slower solution but if we want a steadfast solution that’s the direction we need to go,” Richter, R-Naples, said.

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15 Responses to “Negron: less government interference in foreclosures”

  1. RDC Says:

    sounds like Negron is part of the problem…..still in favor of the deregulation of the banking and finance industry and letting them do whatever they like. Did that get us into this situation to begin with?

  2. SCY Says:

    In 2010 my wife nearly died and required emergency surgery. Concentrating on her recovery, we fell three months behind on our first mortgage. A mortgage that had been paid on time for 5 years. A mortgage at 12+% interest. America’s Servicing Company (ASC) stopped taking ANY payment on behalf of the mortgage holder US Bank National Association (our original mortgage had been sold many times) forcing a foreclosure.

    My wife and I negotiated a Forebearance Agreement with ASC and received the forebearance Agreement on December 20, 2010. On December 21 we were served multiple copies of foreclosure by a Ft. Myers area foreclosure mill law firm.

    When we attempted to contact ASC we were told our modification program had been halted December 1, 2010…fourteen days prior to ASC mailing the Agreement to our residence.

    We have now been told we have to start the modification process all over again. Meanwhile, our foreclosure is being fast tracked in court.

    Mr. Negron should see that this IS why there should be more government intervention to prevent those who have a calamity from being railroaded by overzealous foreclosure mill law firms with questionable paperwork and financial institutions who are only eager to take the hundreds of thousands we have already paid on our home, take the home, and then resell it to another victim.

    Shame on Mr. Negron. Let’s hope AG Pam Bondi stays on course to overcoming this corrupt way of doing business in Florida.

  3. da_truth Says:

    Wow, the GOP sure does love the status quo. Getting the foreclosure mess straightened out sure would help the economy, but you know, that just reeks of socialism :) Instead of helping current homeowners, the Gov and his cronies are far more interested in fast tracking new real estate development so we can create additional vacant homes and empty commercial space.

  4. tim Says:

    How about stop the excuses and either PAY your Mortgage or get out!! It is all avoiding the problem..MOST do not have enough money to keep up their above their means…and probably took out Home Equity loans to buy crap..never thinking they would actually have to PAY IT BACK..So either MOVE out or pay the Mortgage..Everything else is just deadbeats hoping for a gift..

  5. sam Says:

    What about people and businesses that were paying their mortgages and dealing with the economic problems and were hit by the oil spill? Those same people who lost their livelihoods because BP decided to delay or deny payment? Are they deadbeats also? Particularly the ones who still have notbeen paid or who have no jobto go back to.
    The crooked bankers and the fed are the ones to blame for our bad economy and the government has spents trillions making sure those same banks who are now foreclosing didn’t fail. But you still thing the banks should profit even more off the backs of the people they already stuck it to? Very nice.
    Btw some of those very same banks played in the derivatives ‘crap game’ and bet on America to fail. Kind of played their hand to ensure that it seems. Yes lets keep pandering to the crooked bankers

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  7. Unreal Says:

    Hey Morgan & Morgan, Chuckies new firm. I wonder if Stern is one of those law firms being investigated. I ran across them years ago and know people being foreclosed on by their firm. While I never had the personal displeasure, I did have need to speak to them on more han one occasion. Such wonderful people to deal with.

  8. Carl Says:

    Sen. Negron was talking about the AG’s recommendation regarding short sales. The quote you took out of context about what is in “your best interest” was in regard to the investor’s best interest not the home owner’s. He was not interested in the government becoming involved telling investors whether they should accept a short sale or not. It is a business decision of the investor.

  9. JP Knight Says:

    Negron is 100% correct on this one. 99.9% of the mortgage problem has been caused by people borrowing more than they can pay back. Maybe lenders should not have loaned so much. OK. But if you borrow you must pay back. Florida should move, as have many states, to foreclosure process in which courts are not involved. Rates would be lower, property values would increase. It would be easier to buy and sell.

  10. Kelly Says:

    Negron works for Gunster, folks. LMGTFY, journalists.

  11. Unreal Says:

    @jp knight
    So 400,000 smallbusinesses shutting down and massive payoffs by large corporations had nothing to do with it?
    Those stupid people who lost their jobs are at fault for not predicting the economic collapse and the loss of their jobs before they bought their homes.
    I see your point. You obviously have no mortgage since you are psychic

  12. Dave Sorenson Says:

    Senator Negron obviously doesn’t think that the bankers and attorneys who made up documents should be in jail. According to his logic of less government interference, we should free all the criminals too!

  13. betteparker Says:

    It is fantastic time to refinance home mortgage. As Clark Howard says it is very tough to find these low rates for long time. Search online for “123 Mortgage Refinance” they found me THE lowest possible rate.

  14. Jan Says:

    Bankers are supposed to be the knowledgeable professionals. Because of greed they financed outrageous projects causing overbuilding. Bankers can’t even get simple paperwork straight — see court rulings. The banks caused the whole disaster, it’s their responsibility — and they should pay for it! Period!

  15. LizinSarasota Says:

    Senator Negron is a stooge for the banks and gives me a pain. Instead of being belligerently defensive about attorneys for foreclosure mills filing FRAUDULENT affidavits by the TENS of THOUSANDS in courthouses across the state, Negron should serve his constituents by going after these lawyers who play fast and loose with our laws and thumb their noses at our court system.
    If you or me came to court armed with fraudulent affidavits, got a judgment, and the court found out about it, we’d be thrown under the jail. If I got a judgment against Negron based on a fraudulent affidavit he’d fight like hell to overturn it (and have the court throw me under the jail.)
    Why isn’t he policing his profession? We have hundreds, if not thousands, of Florida lawyers failing in their professional code of conduct – based on finding the truth, on telling the truth, on ethical application of THE LAW – and not a good g*d d*mn thing is happening to them. The Florida Bar acts like they are deaf and dumb.
    If a construction contractor substituted shoddy, substandard materials while working for Negron, Negron would sue the contractor and then he’d do his darnedest to get the contractor’s license pulled. And, it would be in the construction industry’s interest as a whole for bad apples to be tossed. If a doctor killed a couple of Negron’s relatives Negron would sue the doctor’s pants off while simultaneously doing his darnedest to get that doctor’s license pulled. And, it’s in the best interest of the medical profession as a whole to kick out people who can’t practice medicine.
    If Negron doesn’t understand the basics of why it’s wrong FOR A LAWYER to come to court with phony documents, phony documents ginned up to toss people out of their homes (or for whatever reason), then the voters of his district need to show him the door.
    After all, knowing the difference between right and wrong isn’t exactly brain surgery, is it?

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