Crist: Holiday Foreclosure Ban Possible Next Week

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday that an executive order putting a moratorium on foreclosures for the holiday season could come as early as next week.

Crist said he discussed the proposal with Florida Bankers Association president Alex Sanchez and hoped an official announcement would come after the Thanksgiving holiday. Although some opponents don't like the idea of a full moratorium, the governor said he was flexible about the final details of the plan.

“I don't care what the terminology is, I just want to have compassion for people during a tough time,” he said.

Crist said he hoped the potential ban would allow homeowners some breathing room during a holiday season expected to show the weight of the slumping economy.

“(I hope to) let them be able to stay in their home, to try to get them the opportunity to renegotiate with their lender, to show some compassion and realize that these are challenging times and people need help,” he said.

Crist stopped short of calling for a full foreclosure ban, but acknowledged that the holiday moratorium could simply delay foreclosures for a few months.

“That would be up to the lending institution to determine what would happen afterwards, but at least during the holidays I think it's important that we show compassion to Florida families as much as we can,” he said.

Crist added that it may be necessary to limit the moratorium to particular groups of homeowners.

“You have to approach it responsibly,” he said. “Maybe have it apply to homestead only instead of some people who are speculating, have several Lexuses in the driveway. Have to be reasonable about this kind of thing too. I appreciate that.”

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