California Homeowner Bill Of Rights
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California Homeowner Bill of Rights

Foreclosed on Unfairly? Let Our Irvine Homeowner Relief Lawyers Help!

Under California law, if you lost your home to foreclosure unfairly, you may be able to sue your mortgage servicer for damages.

While our California homeowner relief lawyers will be able to advise you as to whether or not you have a case, generally speaking, if you were living in your home when it went into foreclosure and you had either requested a loan modification prior to foreclosure or were trying to short sale your home, depending on when foreclosure occurred, you could be entitled to up to $50,000 in damages. (California Civil Code §2920.5-2924.20.)

In addition, if you are currently under the threat of foreclosure but struggling to modify your loan or find another mechanism to save your home and/or avoid foreclosure, you have protections under California law. The California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights provides recourse for people unfairly targeted by dual tracking mortgage servicers.

California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights

California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights was enacted in January of 2013. Under this new bill of rights, homeowners are not only afforded options for dealing with upside down (underwater) mortgages, but for compensation if they were victimized into a wrongful foreclosure by dual tracking mortgage servicers.

In the past, the unscrupulous process of dual tracking meant that a mortgage servicer could simultaneously processes a borrower’s loan modification request while moving the non-judicial foreclosure process forward. The result was often that the trustee’s sale was consummated before the loan modification process had any chance of being completed. Hard-working people who were doing all that they could to save their homes ended up losing it all.

With the passage of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, the tables turned in favor of the homeowners. Now, when a homeowner is attempting to modify their mortgage loan terms, loan servicers must meet a long list of requirements before going forward with any stage in the foreclosure process.

Under the law, homeowners are more empowered than ever. They have the right to obtain a temporary restraining order against any servicer attempting to set a trustee’s sale before completion of the loan modification process, plus they can recover attorney’s fees when the TRO is entered. The opportunity to collect attorney’s fees means that consumers are empowered to seek legal counsel at no expense to them when their rights are being trampled upon.

4 Major Components of the Homeowner Bill of Rights:

  1. Prohibits “dual tracking,” which is 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.

These same rights might also apply to a homeowner who is attempting to short sale their home. Our homeowner relief attorneys can explain further.

Are You Covered Under the Homeowner Bill of Rights?

In order to obtain relief under the Homeowner Bill of Rights, you must:

  • occupy your home,
  • not have filed bankruptcy during the foreclosure process, and
  • cannot have contracted with someone whose primary business purpose is to advise people who have decided to leave their homes on how to extend the foreclosure process.

If you think you might be entitled to damages under the California law or you are currently being victimized by a mortgage servicer engaged in dual tracking, call a McFarlin LLP homeowner relief lawyer today.

Call McFarlin LLP & Request a FREE Consultation

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 Homeowner Bill of Rights can help you and your family, contact us.

Your initial consultation in our Irvine, California office is free. Call (949) 570-5025 or contact us online to get started.

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