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Final Homeowners' Rights Bills Pass in California Legislature

California attorney general Kamala Harris announced Thursday that the final parts of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights have passed out of both houses and are awaiting action from the governor.

SB 1474, authored by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), grants Harris’ office the ability to convene statewide grand juries to investigate and indict perpetrators of financial crimes involving victims in several counties.

AB 1950, authored by Assemblymember Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles) extends the statute of limitations for mortgage-related crimes from one to three years, giving the Department of Justice a better opportunity to fully investigate and prosecute complex mortgage fraud crimes.

The Office of the Attorney General celebrated earlier in the week with the announcement that governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown signed into law another component of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, AB 2314, which gives local governments and receivers various tools to fight neighborhood blight cause by foreclosed homes.

In addition, Brown enacted two other bills in June that provide protections for borrowers and struggling homeowners by restricting dual-track foreclosures and forcing lenders to guarantee struggling homeowners a single point of contact to discuss their loan.

Finally, a sixth bill-designed to protect tenants in foreclosed homes-is currently awaiting action from Brown.

Harris said the entirety of the Homeowner Bill of Rights stems from need to help homeowners and implement the sorts of reform that were outlined in the national mortgage settlement.

“The entire Homeowner Bill of Rights legislative package will ensure fair lending and borrowing practices for California homeowners,” Harris said. “California has been at the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis, and this package of legislation will help affected homeowners, tenants, and neighborhoods.”

Once signed into law, all aspects of the legislative package will take effect at the start of 2013.

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