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Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Foreclosures/REOs | 11 comments | Print Print

Homesquatters Bill of Rights

At least there will be rules – from the

A set of proposed laws that aim to protect California homeowners from foreclosure abuses is working its way through the Legislature.

Two key pieces of legislation in that package, widely called the “Homeowner Bill of Rights,” are expected to face sharp criticism from the real estate and financial sectors as the proposals head to a special hearing on Thursday, housing experts say.

The idea behind the bills package is to stem unnecessary foreclosures, which have hit certain parts of California especially hard. San Diego County has not been able to avert distress. Since 2007, more than 63,000 trustee deeds, which signal a foreclosure, have been filed in the county.

The two most polarizing proposals of the bills package would push banks to assign one point of contact for property owners per troubled-loan case, and end dual tracking, a practice in which lenders start the foreclosure process even though a borrower has applied for a loan modification, among other things.

Homeowner advocates like Norma Garcia, of the Consumers Union in the Bay Area, said both proposals would protect property owners “from unnecessary foreclosures and make sure the foreclosure process is a fair one and everyone plays by the rules.”

Several real estate groups, including the California Mortgage Association, say the proposed measures could stall the foreclosure process, further damaging an already weak housing market, and make way for frivolous legal claims, said Mike Belote, a spokesman for the statewide mortgage organization.

The dual-track and single-contact bills will head to a special legislative hearing on Thursday that will allow lawmakers to more thoroughly vet them. The remaining parts of the bill of rights, supported by the Attorney General’s Office and U.S. housing chief Shaun Donovan, are not expected to be controversial and are moving through the legislative process.

Here’s a breakdown of the bills involved in the bill of rights:

SB 1470: Prevents banks from starting the foreclosure process if homeowners have begun the process for a loan work-out, also called dual tracking. It would require servicers to make decisions on loan-modification applications in a more timely manner. The companion bill is AB 1602.

SB 1471: Requires servicers to streamline the foreclosure process by establishing a set of rules, including assigning a single point of contact for each case. It also calls for a $10,000 fine for any robo-signing incidents, in which banks sign off on loan paperwork without proper review. The companion bill is AB 2425.

SB 1472: Fights neighborhood blight, which happens when properties are not properly maintained after a foreclosure. It would allow cities to levy fines against homeowners who do not properly maintain their properties. This was unanimously approved by the Senate on Thursday. The companion bill is AB 2314.

SB 1473: Ensures renters of foreclosed properties are given at least 90 days before the eviction process is started. The companion bill is AB 2610.

AB 1950: Requires servicers to pay a $25 fee for each recorded notice of default, which kicks off the formal foreclosure process. The money collected would pay for state-run fraud probes.

SB 1464: Allows the state Attorney General to create a special grand jury to look into special financial crimes that involve several victims. The companion bill is AB 1763.


  1. she is going to make a great governor, soon. She will be right up there in quality along with Moonbeam and The Terminator.


  2. pay your bills and you wont have any problems.


  3. Well, it’s not like the banks are hurrying to bring foreclosures to market.


  4. Makes me want to puke. Deadbeats own nothing and therefore have no “rights”.


  5. Texas lawmakers only meet every other year, this list shows why a part time legislature could be a good thing.


  6. Kamela will have to climb over Gavin Newsom’s cold dead body to get there. 😉

    Not that I think he’d be any better…sigh.

    I’m so appalled by all the coddling of deadbeats that I’m numb, all I can do is vote against incumbents at this point.

    One interesting side affect of these latest “protections, if SB 1472 and AB2314 pass into law, what fun it would be to use their provisions to fine short sellers who aren’t maintaining their properties.

    Yup, another short seller on the corner with foot tall grass and weeds…sigh. Again.


  7. I get so tired of the national media talking about “foreclosure victims”. The whole media coverage of this housing and mortgage meltdown the last few years has been so one sided demonizing lenders and painting homeowners as these “poor victims”. What a bunch of BULL! Don’t drink the Kool Aid!
    Many of these “poor victims” have been sitting in their house for 3-4 years not making a payment on the “free rent” program. And then have the balls to ask for cash for keys when they finally get foreclosed on as if they are entitled to that. And many of these “poor victims” did cash out refi’s at the peak to buy the Escalade and the RV or lied on their loan app and put zero down. What a shame that our national media never seems to mention this. This whole victim thing and demonization of lenders is the biggest freaking charade in the history of this country. And you expect me to feel sorry for them because they have to pay high rents now??? Puuulease!

    Let’s get back to what it was the last 100 yrs in California, if you miss about 6 payments your home gets auctioned on the courthouse steps end of story. Enough with this BS of left wing attorney general BS trying to outlaw forclosures. Are you f-ing kidding me???


  8. You stop paying your mortgage and you expect the lender to not care? Remember the money they lent you was probably from some old person’s retirement fund.

    My sister had a squatter in one of her rentals in downtown San Diego and it took two days to get them out – they did over $10,000 worth of damage after all was done.

    This also hurts the little guys (those with only a one or two rentals), more than those with deep pockets.


  9. None of these bills really seem to be “bad”, on their face, IMHO.


  10. @Interesting

    I couldn’t agree more. However, you can see how this will play out come election time. Kamala’s platform will be something to the tune of…”I fight for the everyday person, but my opponent (Newsome) plays favor to the elite and special interests!!!”

    blah blah….wash, rinse, repeat



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