By Jeremy Wallace, Herald-Tribune / Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Lenders would no longer be able to leave homeowners applying to do a short sale in limbo for months under new legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, a Republican who represents all of Charlotte County in Congress.
Under Rooney’s H.R. 839, lenders would have to decide whether to accept a short sale offer within 30 days. Currently, homeowners can wait months for banks and other lenders to accept or reject a short sale.
“By streamlining short sales, we can help keep homes out of foreclosure, fuel growth in the housing market, and deliver a needed boost to Florida’s economy,” Rooney said in a statement to the media.
The National Association of Realtors estimates that nearly 22 percent of all Florida home sales in 2012 were short sales.
“When a family is absolutely unable to keep their home, approving a reasonable short sale offer helps home owners to avoid foreclosure, which is far better for families, neighborhoods and home values,” said Dean Asher, President of Florida Realtors, which is in support of the bill.
The legislation has bipartisan support. U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., has signed up as a co-sponsor of the legislation.
Rooney, R-Okeechobee, represents the 17th Congressional District, which includes all or part of 10 counties. The district includes all of Charlotte and part of Manatee county.