California Real Estate Fraud Report

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29
Mar

AG Harris Proposes a Homeowners Bill of Rights

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who played a key role in the settlement agreement between the attorneys general for all 50 states and Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GMAC/Ally, JP Morgan Chase and CitiMortgage for the fraudulent “robo-signing” the banking giants used to expedite foreclosure against homeowners, has now devised a Bill of Rights.

Although currently referred to as a Homeowners Bill of Rights, the proposed legislation would provide protection to legal tenants as well. It seeks to redress ongoing bad faith (in my opinion) business practices employed by not only the above banks but other lending institutions as well.

Here are some of the highlights:

(1) An end, or at least moderation, of the practice of dual-tracking. Thousands of homeowners thought they were working with their bank on a loan modification and then found out the bank was pursuing and completing foreclosure against them.

(2) Evicting tenants who have valid leases on houses that were foreclosed will cease.

(3) Believe it or not, robo-signing is still happening and which lender actually owns the promissory note to the property is obscured through the use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). MERS is the conduit by which the banks avoided paying city and county transfer taxes, which is required when there is a sale and makes it impossible for a homeowner wanting to contact his or her lender to know who it is.

(4) A new concept: proposal of a multi-jurisdictional grand jury for complex cases that cross county lines.

AG Harris also proposes a $25 fee to be paid by lenders or their trustees, upon filing a Notice of Default (NOD) against a borrower. The revenue generated would help fund law enforcement actions against lenders that fail to comply.

Read the original article in the Orange County Register.

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