TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Of all the bills passed by the Florida legislature this year, Attorney General Bill McCollum paid special attention to a proposed foreclosure rescue law and an anti-counterfeiting bill.
McCollum started what he called a "multi-pronged initiative" against mortgage-related fraud in January. During its session, the Legislature passed the Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act of 2008.
"Home ownership is the epitome of the American dream, and I appreciate the commitment Florida's lawmakers have shown toward helping Floridians protect their homes through this legislation," McCollum said.
"Once signed, I believe this law will provide valuable recourse for our citizens in potentially desperate situations."
The legislation was sponsored by a pair of Republican lawmakers, Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. Clay Ford. In January, McCollum launched his Mortgage Fraud Task Force.
The bill gives consumers a three-day cancellation period after agreeing with a foreclosure rescue company and gives affected consumers more remedies.
Legislation designed from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy model also passed. The U.S. Chamber owns Legal Newsline.
"Counterfeited goods include potentially deadly prescription medicine, defective medical devices and other phony products which could cause serious bodily harm," McCollum said.
"Not only do these goods devastate our economy, they can seriously harm our citizens' health and well-being. I am extremely grateful to our legislative sponsors and the members of the Legislature who are making sure our citizens are better protected from this threat."
McCollum says counterfeiting and piracy costs the U.S. economy more than $200 billion a year and has led to the loss of 750,000 jobs.
The legislation enhances penalties against those convicted of selling pirated and counterfeit goods.