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Homeowner Bill of Rights Gets Mixed Reviews Nearly One Year On

Joe Moore
Valley Public Radio

California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights is nearly a year old and both banks and groups representing distressed homeowners say the legislation intended to help distressed mortgage holders is a bit of a mixed bag.

Maurice Weeks is with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. He says provisions in the law have helped slow the state’s foreclosure rate.

“Specifically the stopping of dual tracking, banks know that they can’t force people through a foreclosure process at the same time where folks are looking for modifications," says Weeks.

Backers of the Bill of Rights also say the “single point of contact” requirement between borrowers and lenders has cut down on lost and resubmitted paperwork. 

Jenna Mills with the California Bankers Association agrees those are positive steps. But she says other new rules have slowed the housing market’s recovery.

“While we’ve enhanced the consumer protections, all the issues concerning the legal liability, really continue to be a concern," says Mills. 

Meanwhile, some homeowner advocates say loan modification applications need clearer state guidelines.