Do you think the Homeowner Bill of Rights will help homeowners?

  • Yes (46%, 97 Votes)
  • No (42%, 87 Votes)
  • It will have no impact. (12%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 209

A portion of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, sponsored by the California Attorney General, has passed. The suite of bills making up the Homeowner Bill of Rights was proposed earlier this year as a preventative measure against foreclosure abuses by lenders against homeowners.

With the passage of these two state bills, Assembly Bill (AB) 278 and Senate Bill (SB) 900, California has become the most proactive state in protecting homeowners facing foreclosure.

The laws apply only to first-lien mortgages and prohibit a lender holding such a loan from:

  • dual tracking—simultaneously negotiating a loan modification and pursuing foreclosure;
  • robo-signing—improperly processing foreclosure documents; and
  • assigning distressed homeowners more than one representative or point of contact each.

State agencies and private citizens have the right to sue banks for up to $50,000 if lenders violate these laws, effective January 1, 2013 until January 1, 2018.

Opponents in the lending and real estate industries claim the new laws will make transactions over-complicated, create ambiguous lawsuits and thus slow the recovery. Lenders also claim the laws will increase real estate transaction costs.

Stay tuned for an upcoming Legislative Watch detailing the provisions in these new laws!

first tuesday take

These protections are a good thing. The Homeowner Bill of Rights consists of several other pending bills, including:

  • AB 1602/SB 1470, requiring lenders to give more disclosures than are currently required when conducting a foreclosure process;
  • AB 2425/SB 1471, imposing a $10,000 fine for robo-signed documents;
  • AB 2314/SB 1472, allowing a buyer of blighted, foreclosed property up to 60 days to begin repairs; and
  • AB 2610/SB 1473, extending the requirement until 2019 for buyers of foreclosed homes to honor existing lease terms, giving tenants at least 90 days notice before beginning the eviction process.

Of these pending bills, the bills focusing on the rights of buyers of foreclosed, blighted property (AB 2314), and the rights of tenants at foreclosure (AB 2610) are furthest along in the legislative process.

Related articles:

Legislative Gossip

How do you see the Homeowner Bill of Rights affecting the real estate industry? Share your opinions with other readers below.

Re: California foreclosure overhaul signed into law from the Los Angeles Times