California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law 07/11/2012 the Homeowner Bill of Rights to help struggling Californians keep their homes. This law aims to avoid foreclosure where possible to help stabilize California’s housing market and prevent the other negative effects of foreclosures on families, communities, and the economy.
The Homeowner Bill of Rights has four major components: (via California Association of Realtors)
- Prohibiting “dual track” foreclosures that occur when a servicer continues foreclosure while also reviewing a homeowner’s application for a loan modification;
- Creating a single point of contact for homeowners who are negotiating a loan modification;
- Expanding notice requirements that must be provided to a borrower before taking action on a loan modification application or pursuing foreclosure; and
- Allowing injunctions against foreclosure until violations are corrected and permitting civil penalties against servicers that file multiple, inaccurate mortgage documents or commit reckless or willful violations of law.
These laws also provide borrowers the right to sue lenders for material violations of the law and provide borrowers with certain safeguards during the foreclosure process. California is the first state in the nation to take provisions in the National Mortgage Settlement, which covered the nation’s five largest mortgage loan servicers, and apply those rules to all mortgage servicers.
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