A bill has been killed that could have led to foreclosure notices disappearing from newspapers and going to websites. The sponsor argued that the county clerks of the court should be able to decide whether to continue the decades-old practice of publishing foreclosure notices in newspapers. Or, placing them on non-newspaper websites. Newspaper officials argued that most papers already put notices online, along with publishing them in print. Further, many seniors and minorities don’t have access to the Internet or don’t feel comfortable using it.
Debates about publishing legal notices in newspapers have flared repeatedly in recent years. This is because the public has increasingly turned to the Internet for information. And, government agencies put more and more documents online. In certain counties, it would be workable to have notices online while in others it probably would not. The bill would have allowed local clerks to decide whether they wanted to keep running notices in newspapers or use a website. Counties without good Internet access or with a large population of seniors could have opted out. And, they could have stayed with the newspaper method.
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