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California Legislature Approves Homeowners’ Rights Bills

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights is one step closer to becoming law as the Legislature sends some of its key provisions to the governor, state attorney general ""Kamala Harris"":http://oag.ca.gov/ announced Monday.

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AB 278 and SB 900 provide protection for borrowers and struggling homeowners, including a restriction of dual-track foreclosures (in which a lender forecloses on a borrower despite being in discussions to try and save the home). They also guarantee struggling homeowners a single point of contact at their lender with knowledge of their loan and direct access to decision makers. In addition, the bills impose civil penalties for the practice of robosigning.

The bills passed 53-25 in the Assembly and 25-13 in the Senate. They will be sent to the desk of governor Jerry Brown for consideration.

""The package approved by the Legislature today is a major victory for California's consumers,"" said Assembly Speaker ""John A. Pérez"":http://asmdc.org/speaker/. ""We impose tough new regulations on banks and lenders to stop the abusive practices we've seen since the collapse of the housing market, and this package will bring relief to hundreds of thousands of California homeowners.""

The Homeowner Bill of Rights contains four other bills outside of the conference committee process. The various bills contain measures to enhance law enforcement responses to mortgage and foreclosure-related crime, to help communities fight neighborhood blight, and to provide protections for tenants in foreclosed homes.

The ""California Reinvestment Coalition"":http://www.calreinvest.org/ (CRC), a supporter of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, celebrated Monday's news.

""After three years of legislative battles, it's about time that families at risk of foreclosure no longer have to worry about losing their homes while they are seeking a loan modification from a bank,"" said Paul Ainger, member of CRC's board of directors. ""The call of California homeowners and communities has finally been answered by our legislature.""

About Author: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.
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