Under the leadership of State Attorney General Kamala Harris, there has been a push to protect homeowners and avert the mortgage crisis. In 2011, the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force was created to investigate and prosecute misconduct and illegal activity. In 2012, the top five banks in the country made a commitment to provide up to $18 billion for California homeowners. Then, on January 1, 2013, the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights became official.
The California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights was designed to add fairness and transparency to the lending process. Under one provision of the bill, homeowners are guaranteed a single point of contact. This means that there is only one person or team at a bank who has all of the facts of the case at their disposal. This way, it is easy to uncover what decisions have been made regarding loan modifications and other important applications.
Another useful provision prevents mortgage servicers from advancing the foreclosure process if the homeowner is working on a loan modification request. Now, filing an application for a loan modification will pause the foreclosure process until the application has been reviewed.
The California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights also provides protections for tenants. Now, purchasers of foreclosed homes must give tenants 90 days before starting the eviction proceedings.
The bill of rights also gives the attorney general’s office more power to investigate and prosecute cases involving mortgage fraud. It even extends the statute of limitations to prosecute mortgage related crimes. In the past, there was only one year to pursue criminal charges. Now, officials can take up to three years to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud criminals.
If you have questions regarding your rights and the protections provided under the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Orange County real estate lawyer. You may be able to keep your home, adjust your loan or even hold the person responsible for your bad loan accountable for their actions.