At press conferences held July 11 in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Assemblymember Holly J. Mitchell (D-Culver City) announced that the “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” will become California state law with the Governor’s signature Jan. 1, 2013.
AB 278 and SB 900 codifies much of the “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” negotiated earlier in 2012 with major banks by Attorney General Kamala Harris, and it offers potential relief to many of the nearly 700,000 Californians now in delinquency or foreclosure on home mortgages.
Many of the key provisions in these bills come from Assemblymember Holly Mitchell’s AB 2425 bill, introduced earlier this year.
“These bills give homeowners facing foreclosure a clear, fair process for saving their most valuable asset,” said Mitchell, who is also a joint author of AB 278 and a co-author of SB 900. “Too many of those losing their homes are subjected to bewildering and arbitrary procedures that block them from re-negotiating mortgages on terms they are able and willing to pay.”
Requiring time to complete loan modification (no “dual tracking”), an established point of contact, explanation for denial and the right to sue for unfair foreclosure, the law contains protections expected to come as a particularly welcome relief to homeowners of modest means.
“Eighty percent of those who get loan modifications stay out of foreclosure,” Mitchell said in an official release “One in 10 of minority homeowners need them, but approvals lag. The Homeowner’s Bill of Rights will help keep people in their homes.”