California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Wednesday the passage of two bills from the California Homeowner Bill Rights through a special two-house conference committee.
The Foreclosure Reduction Act and the Due Process Rights Act were approved by the Joint Conference Committee in a 4-1 vote, sending them up to an expected vote in both the Assembly and Senate next week.
The Foreclosure Reduction Act restricts the process of “dual-tracked foreclosures,” in which lenders work with homeowners on trial loan modifications while at the same time continuing the foreclosure process. The Due Process Rights Act guarantees a reliable contact for struggling homeowners to discuss their loans with and imposes civil penalties on robosigning. The legislation also includes enforcement for borrowers whose rights are violated.
“The mortgage and foreclosure abuse in California ends here,” said Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), co-chair of the Joint Conference Committee. This committee has passed historic legislation that codifies the protections eligible homeowners deserve while helping to stabilize the foreclosure crisis that has thwarted California’s economic recovery. The Legislature has studied, listened, and engaged Californians and industry to find a solution that is fair and effective to mitigate this crisis. I look forward to the full support of the Legislature and governor in implementing this package.”
The Homeowner Bill of Rights was introduced in February and has been the subject of much debate from various state groups ever since. Advocates of the proposal say it helps protect the kinds of homeowners who were affected in the housing crisis, while opponents say it will slow down the state’s housing recovery. Several of the bills have passed through either of the state’s legislative houses.
“I am gratified by this vote, which represents one more step toward our goal of achieving a Homeowner Bill of Rights for California,” said Harris. “The mortgage and foreclosure crisis in our state demands urgent efforts to help Californians keep their homes. The legislature will now have the opportunity to cast a vote on behalf of California’s struggling homeowners.”