Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California Foreclosure Reduction Act today inLos Angeles. The bills, AB 278 and SB 900, are designed to reduce unnecessary foreclosures in the state and were critical pieces of Attorney General Kamala Harris' Homeowner Bill of Rights.
"These common-sense protections have had an uphill battle to the governor's desk," said Paul Leonard, California Director of the Center for Responsible Lending. "But after three years of trying, allCaliforniahomeowners will now have meaningful protections to prevent wrongful foreclosures."
AB 278 and SB 900 contain provisions that will end "dual track" in mortgage servicing, requiring that servicers provide loan modification applicants with a yes or no decision—and an explanation—before the foreclosure process can begin. The legislation will also prohibit robo-signing by requiring all recorded foreclosure documents to be reviewed and verified.
With today's signing,Californiabecomes the first state to put into law some of the key servicing reforms of the National Mortgage Settlement between 49 Attorneys General and the nation's five biggest banks. The Foreclosure Reduction Act will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.