California legislators have proposed a number of bills which would be lumped together to become the “Homeowners Bill of Rights,” intended to prevent future foreclosure abuses.
The “Homeowners Bills of Rights,” has the support of a number of Democratic legislators and the state’s Attorney General Kamala Harris. Some of the key provisions would call for increased documentation from mortgage servicers and would not allow banks to serve a default notice if the borrower has applied for a mortgage modification within an approved time frame.
Homeowners would also be allowed to retain a foreclosure attorney and challenge their default notice in court. Banks would face a $10,000 civil penalty for “robo-signing” documents, meaning they have not been checked for accuracy or mistakes.
The California Bankers Association objects to the “Homeowners Bills or Rights” citing that the provisions would give people the incentive to strategically default on their mortgages and used the added protections to avoid making payments. They also fear that lawsuits could be filed based on technical errors in mortgage documents.
California has been hit hard by the housing crisis and won a sum from the $25 billion national foreclosure settlement. California foreclosure lawyers have fought to keep many people in their homes but the state is still struggling and the foreclosed homes are weighing down on neighborhoods and housing prices.
Recently, legislators passed an anti-blight bill that would require that homeowners who could not stop foreclosure must maintain lawns and repair any broken windows and other signs of vandalism.
Millions of homeowners have been affected by the housing crisis. There are some steps a person can take to prevent foreclosure such as a short sale or mortgage modification, but some borrowers don’t qualify for this option. A California foreclosure attorney can outline the troubled homeowner’s options and help them determine which course of action they should take.