Homeowners Bill of Rights | January 2013

By: Timothy McFarlin | Published: October 12th, 2012 | Category: Foreclosure Issues, Loan Modification, Mortgage Litigation

As we get closer to January 2013 when California’s new Homeowner Bill of Rights will take effect, we want to make sure you understand your rights and are prepared to take advantage of the benefits. It’s a monumental change to the foreclosure process; California is the first to enact homeowner protections like these at the state level. To review, below is a summery of the law’s four major components designed to increase transparency and bring fairness to the foreclosure process.

Homeowners Bill of Rights – Major Components

  1. Prohibits “dual tracking”, the tendency of banks to proceed with foreclosures without completing reviews of loan modification applications.
  2. Establishes single points of contacts at banks for homeowners dealing with loan modifications, making the foreclosure process more efficient.
  3. Places greater responsibility on banks to notify borrowers before taking action on loan modification applications or foreclosure processes.
  4. Allows for injunctions against foreclosure if bank violations have occurred. Permits civil penalties against lenders who file inaccurate documentation or violate the law in other ways.

This last component is very important. A law is just a law if there are no provisions that make it compulsory or enforce accountability. The good news here is that #4 is a strong enforcement mechanism, enabling and encouraging homeowners to sue lenders if they do not comply with rules or ignore homeowner rights. With this enforcement mechanism in place, knowing when (and how) to take legal action is paramount. McFarlin LLP is here to help for that very reason.

Homeowners Bill of Rights Attorney

We understand that many homeowners have a large portion of their wealth, if not the majority of it, tied up in their homes. Sometimes this means that a sour market, dropping home prices and foreclosure do not just mean the loss of a home. For example, it may impact a child’s future college tuition or a homeowner’s expected retirement. Let us help you hold on to your investments. If you believe the new Homeowner Bill of Rights can help you and your family, contact us this fall or winter so we can help you hit the ground running when the laws take effect in January 2013.

For more information about how families will benefit from the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, click here for an interactive slideshow.

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