In the midst of the nationwide mortgage crisis of 2008, California enacted urgency legislation governing nonjudicial foreclosures. Those provisions were set to expire, but California passed the Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), which became effective on January 1, 2013. The HBOR did far more than merely extend the 2008 legislation. For the first time, borrowers have a private right of action against lenders for either injunctive relief or damages for violation of the law, including an award of attorney fees to the prevailing party.
The HBOR also: (1) extends the rights of tenants of foreclosed properties, (2) extends the statute of limitations for the prosecution of mortgage-related crimes, and (3) provides local governments tools to curb the blight caused by multiple vacant homes in their neighborhoods. Has this meant a flood of new HBOR cases within the last year? Has the HBOR achieved its goals of reducing foreclosures and increasing workouts, loan modifications, and short sales? Seasoned attorneys Chuck Hansen, David Lim, and Peter Muņoz will examine how the HBOR has been used in the year since its enactment.
Review of the changes to real estate foreclosures implemented by the HBOR:
New obligations for the lender when filing a notice of default
No "dual tracking" once completed application submitted
New protocols and procedures for loan modification applications
Single point of contact with borrower
Lender must offer foreclosure prevention alternatives
Verification of loan documents
Discussion of limitation of the HBOR provisions to "first liens" secured by "owner-occupied" residential real property of no more than four units
Use of the private right of action by borrowers
Enforcement by the District Attorney
Preemption under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and new regulations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
Review of recent cases interpreting the HBOR
This program assumes some experience in handling real property cases.