Featured News 2012 The Homeowner’s Bill of Rights Relieves Consumers in California

The Homeowner’s Bill of Rights Relieves Consumers in California

California has one of the rockiest housing markets in America. With multiply city bankruptcies going on, Governor Jerry Brown finally decided to take action. He signed into law a Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, which will leap into action on January 1st, 2013. This bill allows Northern Californians to receive some of the best foreclosure protection in the nation. According to Brown, the bill will the end of all abusive home lending tactics which are causing massive amounts of foreclosures in the state.

While the bill intends to slow the foreclosure rate in the Golden State, some think it might also delay improvements in the housing market. That is a risk that Brown is willing to take in order to relieve the cheated homeowners. He says that the mortgage providers who do business in California will not be forced to comply by the bill. The terms are permanent. One major change in mortgaging is in regards to “dual tracking.” This occurs when a bank pursues foreclosure on a property even though the homeowner’s are seeking a loan modification. Banks will no longer be allowed to practice this measure.

As well, the customers in California will now have the right to one contact person as they work through their mortgage. By having a faithful and regular contact, they will be able to develop a personal relationship within the bank and have help available. They will also know exactly who to go to with questions or suggestions when working through how to keep their homes. The bill will also increase the penalties involved in robo-signing. Robo-signing is a banks’ way of approving a foreclosure without letting anyone read the documents. This action brings about a lot of deception, and foreclosures happen without warning when robo-signing is implemented.

As well, the new bill allows homeowners to sue for violations. This will give increasing accountability to mortgage lenders and allow the courts to get involved when justice is not being served. Many times homeowner’s are terrified to start a lawsuit, because they worry that it will only expedite the foreclosure process. Out of a fear of making things worse, they shrink back. The California Bankers Association is admittedly worried about the encouragement for homeowners to litigate. They say that the lawsuits could end up increasing costs for California homebuyers as court fees make everything more expensive.

However, many government officials are sure that this Homeowner’s Bill of Rights will improve and aid the state residents that desperately need assistance. At present, ABC News says that 700,000 Californians are in the foreclosure pipeline. Because the bill doesn’t go into effect until January 2013, it will be interesting to see whether or not the residents are protected from their looming foreclosures. One Dan Francisco resident says that she is certain that the bill will help her case. If anything, she is thankful that the bank will only issue her one contact from here on out.

She is currently dealing with six contacts at her bank and says that a medical condition makes in increasingly difficult for her to handle talking with separate people who often have separate advice. Instead, she says that she would prefer to have one go-to guy or girl that she could discuss her situation with. While this bill is signed and ready to go, Governor Brown has not forgotten about the many renters that are facing a rental foreclosure in the state. The state government is looking into a bill that could help these victims. They also want to work on a foreclosure bill which would permit non-profits to have first-dibs when a foreclosed home is for sale.

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