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Family loses thousands of dollars with forclosure ban

The family has been making payments on a vacant home for two years
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 7:25 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -

This week Governor DeSantis could possibly be extending his ban on home foreclosure and evictions for a third time.

The ban, also known as a moratorium, has been a major benefit for a majority of Florida families facing financial issues during the pandemic. But some, like the Bennett family, are begging Governor DeSantis to reconsider his order.

“I see the spirit of the moratorium is to protect the ‘little guy’,” Tom Bennett, said.

“But to protect people, you have to look at all of the different situations that could arise ... such as this. There are a lot of people in our position that are actually hurt by this,” he said.

The Bennett family was left with the expense of taking care of an unoccupied home after the death of a family member. After two years of struggling to keep up with the cost of the vacant home, they want the bank to foreclose on them. However, with DeSantis’s new order, they’re stuck with the bills piling up-- more than $25,000 over the past two years.

It is possible, and their hope, that Governor DeSantis could make an adjustment to the order, excluding unoccupied homes from the moratorium.

“There are often unintended consequences when laws are passed, and this is one,” Bennett’s lawyer, Doug McKoy, said.

“If it must remain in place-- this moratorium on foreclosures-- a slight amendment would go a long way in addressing this problem. Then, the Bennett’s and others like them could move on and proceed.”

For now, the order stands as is before the possible extension, which remains under review.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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