Florida Bankers Can't Wait to Foreclose

Hasta la vista, your honor.

The Florida Bankers Association has proposed a new approach to deal with the backlog of foreclosure proceedings in the state's courthouses: skip the courts and proceed immediately to the sale.

The banking trade group -- a significant lobbying force in the state capital -- is shopping a bill that would allow "non-judicial" foreclosures as a way to speed up the process that can take as long as 18 months, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The bill would kick troubled homeowners out of their homes in as little as three months, and allow banks to continue pursuing homeowners for unpaid mortgage debt long after they've been foreclosed upon.

With Orwellian flair, the bankers have called the bill The Florida Consumer Protection and Homeowner Credit Rehabilitation Act.

The proposal comes just a month after the Florida Supreme Court mandated a statewide mediation program between lenders and homeowners aimed at averting foreclosures -- a program the bankers' proposal would nullify.