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House committee passes Citizens, Foreclosure reform

The House Economic Affairs committee has passed out several bills to help ease the price tag on Florida homeowners. Lynn Hatter reports included in the list of bills heard includes a plan to reform the state’s largest property tax insurer, provide some additional tax breaks, and change the way foreclosures are handled in the courts.

Two proposed constitutional amendments giving additional property tax breaks to low-income seniors and the spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty are both heading to the House floor. The chambers economic affairs committee signed off on them Wednesday.

The committee also gave the go-ahead to a plan that would make it easier for lenders to foreclose on homes in a shorter amount of time; and protect homeowners by limiting the amount of time they can be sued for non-payment from five years, to two.  That bill is heading to its last committee stop in the House Judiciary committee.

The same House panel also cleared a bill that would change how Citizen’s property insurance pays out damages. It would reduce regular assessments by shifting the burden to a wider pool of payers.  That measure is heading to the House floor.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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