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Saving your home with California’s homeower’s Bill of Rights

On July 11, 2012 California’s Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill No. 900. This bill is an act to add and amend a bevy of California Civil Code sections intended to monitor lenders and protect homeowners from earlier predatory/summary (i.e. illegal and/unjust) foreclosure practices.

Be assured that this legislation is for real. It understands what is going on with mortgage lenders from loan inception to bad-faith loan modification processes and more. The courts respect it and it provides homeowners with their best approach to saving their homes from foreclosure.

The reason and purpose for this legislation is set forth in its “Section 1” which is here quoted:

“THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) California is still reeling from the economic impacts of a wave of residential property foreclosures that began in 2007. From 2007 to 2011 alone, there were over 900,000 completed foreclosure sales. In 2011, 38 of the top 100 hardest hit ZIP Codes in the nation were in California, and the current wave of foreclosures continues apace. All of this foreclosure activity has adversely affected property values and resulted in less money for schools, public safety, and other public services. In addition, according to the Urban Institute, every foreclosure imposes significant costs on local governments, including an estimated nineteen thousand two hundred twenty-nine dollars ($19,229) in local government costs. And the foreclosure crisis is not over; there remain more than two million “underwater” mortgages in California. (b) It is essential to the economic health of this state to mitigate the negative effects on the state and local economies and the housing market that are the result of continued foreclosures by modifying the foreclosure process to ensure that borrowers who may qualify for a foreclosure alternative are considered for, and have a meaningful opportunity to obtain, available loss mitigation options. These changes to the state’s foreclosure process are essential to ensure that the current crisis is not worsened by unnecessarily adding foreclosed properties to the market when an alternative to foreclosure may be available. Avoiding foreclosure, where possible, will help stabilize the state’s housing market and avoid the substantial, corresponding negative effects of foreclosures on families, communities, and the state and local economy. (c) This act is necessary to provide stability to California’s statewide and regional economies and housing market by facilitating opportunities for borrowers to pursue loss mitigation options.”

If you or yours are tired of shadow-boxing with the servicers of your home mortgagees you may want to speak to us about SB 900.

If so, please do so by email including a brief summary of your situation and we will forthwith follow up with you on it.

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