New Homeowner Protections In Effect as of Jan 1.

Wed, 2013-01-09 11:31 -- David Kubiczky

2013 brings new protections to California homeowners, primarily to those who are trying to prevent their properties from being repossessed. This legislation represents a win-win for citizens and the state in that help to stabilize California's housing market while simultaneously benefiting families, communities and the general economy.

California’s real estate market was marked by more than 900,000 foreclosures recorded between 2007 and 2011.  Finally, though, the states is seeing a turn-around and this new legislation is further helping the progress. Effective January 1st the Homeowner Bill of Rights, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, defines a set of new laws obligating banks to help consumers through the foreclosure process. The legislation, praised by housing advocates and, not surprisingly, criticized by the lending industry, requires banks to:

Stop Dual Tracking.  This is the process of starting the foreclosure process once a loan modification has already been submitted and/or is being reviewed by the bank. Now, banks must provide a response to loan-modification applicants before they begin the foreclosure process. Also, banks must inform borrowers of their right to apply for a loan modification.

Stop Robo-Signing.  Foreclosure documents can no longer be approved without first receiving a proper review. 

Single Point of Contact. To simplify the process, banks must assign one primary point of contact to borrowers who are applying for a loan modification.

California’s real estate market was marked by more than 900,000 foreclosures recorded between 2007 and 2011. 

California’s legislation has provisions that are similar to the national mortgage settlement, a deal struck earlier in 2012 between five major lenders and 49 states, including California. The Homeowner Bill of Rights though firms up those provisions into law, which is important because those mortgage settlement terms will end in 5