Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Real Estate: California Homeowner Bill of Rights to take effect Jan. 1

(Photo provided by the California State Attorney General’s Office. California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.)

Here’s a reminder for struggling homeowners: The California Homeowner Bill of Rights will take effect on Jan. 1. That’s next week.

The package of bills introduced by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris protects homeowners from unfair practices by banks and mortgage companies. It was signed into law in July.

“For too long, struggling homeowners in California have been denied fairness and transparency when dealing with their lending institutions,” Harris said. “These laws give homeowners new rights as they work through the foreclosure process and will give Californians a fair opportunity to stay in their homes.”

The Bill of Rights will:

  • Restrict dual-track foreclosures which allowed banks to foreclose on a home while negotiating a loan modification.
  • Guarantee homeowners a single point of contact at the lending company so the same person will be on the other end of the line working with homeowners through the foreclosure process.
  • Impose penalties on fraudulently signed mortgage documents.
  • Extend the statute of limitations to prosecute mortgage-related crimes from one to two years allowing Harris’ office to investigate and prosecute fraud.
  • Require buyers of foreclosed property to give tenants at least 90 days before starting eviction proceedings.
  • Help local governments fight blight caused by multiple vacant homes in their neighborhoods.

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