Voting Rights & Home Foreclosure

Homeowners in foreclosure have rights, one of them is voting.  Even if your home is in a stage of foreclosure, you can still go to the polls. One of the common election myths is that homeowners who have a foreclosure suit filed against them are ineligible to vote.  Not true.  While colonial America required voters to have a certain amount of land holdings, registered voters today are eligible to vote regardless of their real estate ownership status, even if in mortgage default. Furthermore, because foreclosure is a lengthy process in Florida, homeowners can remain in their homes for months after receiving a foreclosure notice.  Our judicial procedure in home foreclosures in this state takes time, giving homeowners the opportunity to pursue an alternative (like short sale or mortgage modification), and also leaving the homeowner in place in their voting precinct so they can cast their ballot. (If you have moved out of your foreclosed residence with no intention of returning to live there, give the Supervisor of Elections your change of address so you can be assigned a new precinct for the next election.)   Read More

Justice Under Construction: Supreme Court in Session

Justice Under Construction:  Supreme Court in Session Justice is under construction…literally right now with the west façade of the Supreme Court Building in Washington D. C. undergoes continuing repair and preservation.  On the inside as well, the highest court in the land is making repairs and working on the preservation of justice.   The Supreme Court term begins on the first Monday in October, which means it started yesterday.  In a single term, it receives about 10,000 petitions.  Some of the cases projected for this term include matters concerning racial preference in college admissions, human rights abuses, drug-sniffing dogs (two cases coming out of Florida), fighting terrorism, gay marriage, voting rights, and DNA sampling. Read More

Voting Rights & Real Estate Rights

Dead men do not vote, at least they are not supposed to.  Neither are prison inmates.  Civil Rights is one of the things you check at the door when you enter the Florida prison system.  However, Felony conviction in Florida is not full “civil death” in the Greek sense where both voting and land ownership rights are revoked.  While you lose Civil Rights as a guest of the State, you retain the right of land ownership, even if you are not allowed to visit it. You can wear a jumpsuit to your real estate closing during visiting hours in prison.  It is harder to get things signed and notarized, but if you can use a pen in handcuffs, then you can have a signing in the Big House. It takes at least five to seven years (depending on the crime) after the completion of a prison sentence to apply for restoration of Civil Rights.  As a result, about seven percent of Florida’s adults cannot vote because of a felony conviction.  While lack of Civil Rights does exclude felons from at least one or two presidential elections, they can create a landslide in real estate transactions.   Read More