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Follow Your Legislative Session!


Regular sessions of the Legislature begin on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March and continue for 60 consecutive days, which may be extended by a three-fifths vote of each house. Special sessions may be called by the Governor, or may be convened by joint proclamation of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Special sessions may not exceed 20 days, unless extended by a three-fifths vote of each house. To follow the Bills please click here.

Legislative Update related to Association Law,
Construction Law, and Real Estate Law

HB 87, Relating to Foreclosures (Rep. Passidomo): The foreclosure bill - HB 87 includes an important provision for associations that will allow associations to move stalled mortgage foreclosure cases by filing for an expedited order to show cause procedure. The bill balances the right of the associations to move these bills forward, while also providing certain consumer protections to the persons in foreclosure and persons who buy a foreclosed home. Some of the provisions in the bill include:

  • Provides that banks will have one (1) year to enforce a deficiency judgment. The current law gives banks five years to enforce a deficiency judgment.
  • Provides that a deficiency judgment may not exceed the difference between the judgment amount or, in the case of a short sale, the outstanding debt, and the fair market value of the property on the date of the sale.
  • Requires banks to file certain documents when filing a foreclosure action, including a certification that the bank is in physical possession of the original promissory note, or an affidavit of lost, destroyed, or stolen instrument.
  • Provides for the finality of a mortgage foreclosure judgment by stating that if a party seeks to set aside, invalidate, or challenge a final judgment of foreclosure, the claim shall be for monetary damages only, if, among other things, the property has been acquired for value by a person not affiliated with the foreclosing lender or the foreclosed owner.
  • Provides that if a junior lienholder (including a condominium, cooperative or homeowners' association) requests an order to show cause be entered, the judge shall immediately review the request and if the file meets the requirements of the statute, the judge shall issue an order directed at the other parties to show cause why a final judgment of foreclosure should not be entered. The law already allows a bank to file such a request for an order to show cause. The bill would extend this right to other lienholders.

SB 182, Relating to Homestead Exemption (Sen. Detert): This bill is intended to address homestead exemption fraud and will require community associations to file with the property appraiser each year a list of units that were rented during the previous year. The other provisions in the bill provides a reward for whistle-blowers who report a possible homestead exemption violation.

SB 286, Relating to Design Professionals (Sen. Negron): This bill is similar to bills filed in previous legislative sessions and failed. It is back again this year, even though it was vetoed by the Governor in 2010 and died in the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries in 2011. The bill provides that architects or engineers would no longer be personally liable for negligence arising out of their professional services. This would essentially limit people hiring these design professionals to breach of contract claims against the design professional's business entity.

SB 96, Relating to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Rates (Sen. Flores) and HB 107, Relating to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Rates (Rep. Diaz, J): These bills provide that any restrictions on annual rate increases apply to both new and renewal policies. The bills are a reaction to plan proposed by Citizens in 2012 to lift the 10% cap on rate increases for new policies.

HB 175, Relating to Condominiums (Rep. Fitzenhagen): HB 175 is the companion bill to SB 120 by Sen. Latvala and is intended to make the Condominium Act consistent with the Interstate Land Sales Acts (ILSA).

SB 246, Relating to Assistance for Persons whose Primary Residences were Damaged by Tropical Storm Debby or Hurricane Isaac (Sen. Dean): SB 246 is the companion bill to HB 43 by Rep. Porter and provides for reimbursement of a portion of the ad valorem tax levied on a house or other residential building rendered uninhabitable due to Tropical Storm Debby or Hurricane Isaac and provides for reimbursement of the state sales tax paid on the purchase of a mobile home to replace a mobile home that experienced major damage from Tropical Storm Debby or Hurricane Isaac.

Contact Elected Officials
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2013 Association/Real Property/Construction Legislative Update

Sit on a Board? Below are some quick and helpful tips:


How to Take Great Minutes

Voting Procedures for a Board

Pointers for Small Boards

Summary Robert's Rules for Association Board Meetings

Non-Profit Representation
At Kistemaker Business Law Group, our attorneys believe strongly in giving back to the community and one way they have been able to do this is to provide representation to non-profit agencies at discounted rates.

Florida may soon see cell phone ban while driving!


Push renewed for Florida ban on texting while driving
By John Kennedy, Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
More than a decade since Florida lawmakers first called for limits on motorist cellphone use, advocates say a ban on texting behind the wheel may soon win approval. Despite dozens of bills since 2002, no restriction on motorist cellphone use or texting ever has cleared the Florida Legislature, but 2013 could be different. House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, blocked attempts in 2012 to have a texting ban heard, after the measure was OK'd by the state Senate. But Cannon left the House in November due to term limits. Three text-ban bills already have been introduced for the 2013 session that begins in March. Supporters say this may pave the way for Florida to become the nation's 40th state to prohibit all drivers from texting.

Current National Text Bans:
Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

Novice drivers are banned from texting in five states (Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) and school bus drivers are banned from text messaging in three states (Mississippi,Oklahoma and Texas).

Current National Cell Phone Limits:
Talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving is banned in 10 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia.

The use of all cellphones by novice drivers is restricted in 32 states and the District of Columbia. 
Using cellphones while driving a school bus is prohibited in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Source: National Institute for Highway Safety




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