In an effort to protect the rights of over 700,000 California homeowners facing potential foreclosure, the California General Assembly has voted to adopt many of the regulations contained in the national bank settlement between 49 Attorneys General and five major lenders. California has elected to expand the regulations to all lenders and, unlike the national settlement which ends in five years, California's legislation will be permanent.
Under this legislation, larger lenders would have to provide homeowners who desire a loan modification with a single point of contact. It also states that lenders cannot foreclose when a homeowner is being considered for a loan modification or other assistance. Homeowners are being given other protections, as well, like allowing them to sue a bank to stop a foreclosure or to receive compensation in the event their bank violates the law.
The law, which applies to all owner-occupied residences, was supported by California's Attorney General, Kamala Harris, who voiced her desire to see reform in the mortgage industry. It is part of her quest to invoke transparency, fairness, and protection against wrongful foreclosures and abuses. However, some lenders have expressed concern that the legislation will "encourage frivolous litigation" by homeowners who cannot afford to keep their homes. Some have predicted that it will cause further harm to the housing market by increasing lenders' costs and creating delays in the foreclosure process.
If the governor signs the bill, it will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013. It is expected that some banks will begin to implement the changes caused by the legislation prior to that time. Be your own best advocate in the fight to save your home from foreclosure, get the facts, and stay one step ahead.
Anna Cuevas, ex-bank executive turned homeowner advocate known as "America's Loan Modification Guru," has empowered and guided thousands of Americans in keeping their homes from foreclosure through loan modification self-advocacy. A popular blogger (askaloanmodguru.com), Cuevas has been called a "superhero of the loan modification industry" and has been nominated for CNN's Heroes. She is the #1 bestselling author of SAVE YOUR HOME Without Losing Your Mind or Money.