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January 13, 2012 > Bill assisting distressed homeowners clears committee

Bill assisting distressed homeowners clears committee

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Legislation by Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) to extend assistance to homeowners caught in the nation's mortgage crisis passed the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee on January 9, 2012.

Senate Bill 708 requires lenders to contact property owners to attempt to avoid foreclosure, provides tenants additional time to move from a foreclosed property and mandates that properties that have been foreclosed be maintained to help limit any negative impact on the value of neighboring homes.

"Unfortunately, we still have a housing crisis that affects thousands of Californians, who are either struggling to make their payments or are hurt when homes enter foreclosure," Corbett said. "This legislation continues important protections for homeowners and renters that have proved tremendously helpful in this trying time."

The provisions of SB 708 were first enacted in 2008 with Senate Bill 1137 but that legislation is set to expire at the end of 2012. SB 708 extends the same protections through 2017.

California saw a 55 percent increase in foreclosure notices from July to August 2011, with one out of every 226 homes in the state filing for foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac. Nationally, more than 10 million Americans are expected to default on home loans in 2012.

The bill goes next to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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