CALIFORNIA: NEW BILL SB 1275 May allow homeowners to REVERSE FORECLOSURE SALES due to SERVICER’S ERRORS

Carrie Bay 6/4/2010 DSNEWS

The California Senate approved a new foreclosure bill on Thursday with a 21 to 12 vote and sent it on to the Assembly for review. The legislation lays out two major provisions intended to deter lax behavior on the part of servicers and prevent avoidable foreclosures in the state, which continues to post one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates.

The bill would provide a means of recourse to homeowners whose homes were lost to foreclosure due to serious servicer errors, and it would prohibit servicers from starting the foreclosure process until a homeowner has received a final decision on their modification.

According to a statement from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), confusion and errors that cost Californians their homes, are devastating to the state’s housing market, but are avoidable.

If a borrower’s home is sold in foreclosure due to servicer error, there is currently no means by which to seek recourse. The bill, SB 1275, authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), seeks to change this by providing recourse through what is known as a private right of action.

This would allow eligible homeowners to seek limited damages which are directly related to the severity of the servicer’s errors, or, in some cases, would allow the homeowner to reverse the foreclosure sale.

During earlier committee hearings for SB 1275, servicers acknowledged that confusion and errors are commonplace. According to CRL, Bank of America executive Jack Schackett even admitted during a conference call that they “have not handled [their] customers to the standards Bank of America is accustomed to.”

“It’s unacceptable that when servicers lose faxes and lose payments, some Californians lose their homes,” said Caryn Becker, policy counsel with the CRL California office. “At nearly 1 million foreclosures and counting, we need to prevent every unnecessary foreclosure we can.”

Speaking in support of the bill’s passage, CRL said homeowners who have been wronged deserve the opportunity to make it right, but the organization says the legislation continues to face some opposition from Assembly members who oppose allowing California homeowners to pursue claims against their lenders and servicers.

SB 1275 would also prohibit servicers from foreclosing on homeowners who have requested modifications until a decision has been made, and the homeowner has been notified.

CRL says currently, servicers are initiating the foreclosure process even when borrowers are working to reach a resolution, including when homeowners are following all the rules to seek a loan modification, or are already making payments on a trial modification.

“Simple fairness dictates that no one should lose their home while they are in the middle of trying to save it,” said Paul Leonard, director of the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending. “A foreclosure that starts because a servicer’s left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing is the most preventable foreclosure of all.”

SB 1275 will be heard by the Assembly Banking Committee before it goes to the full Assembly for a vote. Assembly members are currently considering a separate bill, AB 1639, that would mandate foreclosure mediation through a new Facilitated Mortgage Workout (FMW) program, which would require lenders to meet with delinquent borrowers to try and devise an alternative plan of action before proceeding with foreclosure.

MASSIVE RULING TO PROTECT CALIFORNIA HOMEOWNERS FROM NON JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE: MABRY v. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF ORANGE COUNTY‎ CODE 2923.5

From: b.daviesmd6605

PUBLISHED OPINION AT THE APPEALS LEVEL FOR CC 2923.5. IT IS THE LAW. THERE IS A FACT SPECIFIC CAUSE OF ACTION FOR THIS CALIFORNIA CODE. THIS IS A MASSIVE PROTECTION IN CALIFORNIA FOR THE DEVIL DEEDS OF CC2924, NON JUDICIAL FORECLOSURE. MASSIVE POSITIVE FINALLY FOR HOMEOWNERS IN CALIFORNIA.

BANK OF AMERICA channels BRITNEY SPEARS “OOPS I DID IT AGAIN”: Foreclosing AGAIN on a MORTGAGE FREE HOME!

ARE YOU NEXT?

"Oops I did it Again"

Tuolumne Woman Owns Home Outright

POSTED: 3:58 pm PDT May 26, 2010
UPDATED: 5:53 pm PDT May 26, 2010

TUOLUMNE, Calif. — Nancy Willmes paid cash for her Tuolumne home in 2001. So she was quite surprised when Bank of America send her a notice of default on the property in February.

“I honestly felt like Bank of America was trying to steal my property,” Willmes said.

She contacted Bank of America to try to find out why the bank believed it could foreclose on property she had purchased outright.

Willmes has chain-of-ownership records, which show Bank of America had sold the property to Fannie Mae years earlier. Fannie Mae foreclosed on the previous owner, and Willmes purchased the property with cash from Fannie Mae.

But Willmes said Bank of America did not care about the documentation.

The bank proceeded with the foreclosure, placing ads in the local paper and nailing a foreclosure notice to her door.

“I called the title company, the title company called B of A, and they refused to rescind it,” Willmes said.
Fearful she would lose her home to the bank, Willmes called KCRA Call 3, and a Call 3 volunteer contacted Bank of America.

Willmes said that’s when Bank of America began returning her phone calls.

The bank rescinded the notice of trustee sale, stopping the foreclosure.

In a statement to KCRA 3, Bank of America said the problem was a system error. It said it updated its records and canceled the sale.

“This is my whole life. This is my future,” Willmes said. “I’ve got to thank you guys for basically giving me back my home. That is a big relief.”

Copyright 2010 by KCRA.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

State Group Estimates 37% of California Foreclosures Involved Renters

If Dorthy was here today and reading this…

She would definitely click her heels and say there’s no place like NO home!

BY: CARRIE BAY DSNEWS.com

The foreclosure crisis in California has taken a toll on not only homeowners, but a large number of tenants in the state.

According to a new study from Tenants Together, California’s statewide organization for renters’ rights, at least 37 percent of residential units in foreclosure in the Golden State last year were rentals, directly affecting over 200,000 tenants – most of whom were displaced.

Tenant Together’s research is based on California property records for every foreclosure in 2009, and the organization says its estimates are “conservative.”

The report – California Tenants in the Foreclosure Crisis Report- California Renters in the Foreclosure Crisis- final.pdf – concludes that while the largest percentage of renter-occupied foreclosed properties were single-family homes, the percentage of renter-occupied, multi-unit buildings is growing at a faster pace.

The organization says this trend is likely to increase as more loan modification programs target owner-occupied properties, which are primarily single-family homes and condominiums, while multi-unit rental properties continue to fall by the wayside and into foreclosure.

Since Tenants Together’s previous annual report was issued, the most significant develop for renters in foreclosure situations has been the enactment of the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.

The new federal law increased the eviction notice period for tenants to 90 days, assured that existing leases survive foreclosure, and clarified that banks and other post-foreclosure owners of property step into the shoes of the pre-foreclosure owner and have the obligations of landlords.

Tenants Together says that while the new federal law is a step in the right direction, it comes short of providing long-term security for tenants and has been mired by implementation problems arising from banks’ non-compliance with the new law.

According to Gabe Treves, program coordinator at Tenants Together and author of the group’s latest report, “Tenants are innocent and hidden victims of a foreclosure crisis they did nothing to create. As this report shows, the unfair and unnecessary displacement at tenants at the hands of banks is affecting communities across the state at a devastating scale.”

Tenants Together concludes its annual report with a checklist of recommended actions to mitigate the impact of the foreclosure crisis on renters. Among the various proposals, the report notes that ‘just cause for eviction’ laws are a particularly effective and cost-free way to stop the displacement of tenants whose lenders have been foreclosed on and provide greater stability to California communities.

Mortgage holders sue bank in CLASS ACTION:

From: b.daviesmd6605

BY STAFF,  CITY NEWS SERVICE OCLNN.com
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SANTA ANA – Distressed homeowners packed an appellate court hearing Tuesday as their attorney tried to persuade justices a 2008 California law should force banks to work harder to ease the terms of their mortgages.

Attorney Moses S. Hall argued before the three appellate court justices in the Fourth District’s Santa Ana courtroom that banks holding the loans of his clients are not complying with a state law compelling them to try to negotiate modified mortgages.

Attorney Justin D. Balser, representing the RPI Quality Loan Service Corp., argued the homeowners cannot bring the class-action lawsuit to the courts and must rely on the California Attorney General’s Office to enforce the law.

The appellate court justices appeared skeptical of that claim and queried him why people could not sue to have their rights enforced in the courts.

Balser argued that letting residents try to enforce the law in the courts would lead to a “flood of lawsuits.”

“This is the only statute of its kind in the nation,” Balser said.

Attorney Melissa Coutts, who also represented RPI, said she was looking for the appellate justices to provide guidance on the law, which she argued was too vague.

“If there was a specific remedy (in the law), we wouldn’t be here,” Hall responded. “There’s nothing to help keep people in their homes.”

Terry and Mike Mabry filed their class-action lawsuit after they said their lenders refused to help them save their home in Corona.

The two had invested in 13 properties, which they rented, but when the economy soured their found themselves struggling to keep up with mortgage payments as renters left or demanded lower rent, they said. They ended up losing some of the properties and others were lost in short sales, they said.

However, when it looked like they wouldn’t be able to afford the adjustable rate mortgage on their own home they contacted their lender and were told they could not renegotiate the terms unless they missed at least two payments, Terry Mabry said. The couple had not missed any payments, she said.

“When we reached out for help we were hit with one wall after the other,” Terry Mabry said. “The bankers led us to believe they were working with us, but they weren’t. All we wanted was to be helped.”

Terry Mabry argues that all the state law was meant to do was give homeowners a chance to work with the lenders to save their houses and is not a guarantee.

“The law was meant to create a discussion, not to guarantee a solution,” Terry Mabry said. “But we never even got to the discussion point. That’s the most frustrating part.”

The Mabrys thought they were in serious negotiations until they returned home one day to find a notice to sell their home floating around the front lawn.

Carlos and Maria Hernandez of Lake Forest also thought they were going to save the home they bought 5 years ago after they were put in a home-loan modification program for eight months.

“The next thing we know we were given a notice that the house was already sold,” Carlos Hernandez said.

“We put all of our savings in that house,” Hernandez said. “We want to stay in it because it’s for the future of our kids.”

Carlos Hernandez had trouble making mortgage payments because he lost his job, but was able to keep up with the new payments, he said.

The Mabrys and Hernandezes remain in their homes as appellate court justices consider the lawsuit.

Read more: http://www.oclnn.com/orange-county/2010-05-19/business/mortgage-holders-sue-bank-in-class-action#ixzz0p84ayuW5

5 reasons why California will face another lost decade in housing – 493,000 real estate agents and brokers for 219,000 homes listed on the MLS. 7 percent of 90+ day late loans in California have no foreclosure filed. State budget depended on real estate bubble jobs for revenues.

Wish he can do both New York and Florida…would be interesting!

Source: www.doctorhousingbubble.com

How many real estate agents and brokers does it take to sell a California home?  2 ¼ if we look at current inventory levels and the amount of Californians with a real estate or broker’s license.  One of the early observations of the housing bubble was how much money was being spent in the economy because of high wage California housing bubble jobs.  Toxic loan after toxic loan provided wonderful commission checks but also provided the state with a nice chunk of tax revenue.  Year after year this went on.  Our fate has been intertwined with real estate and since real estate has busted so has ourstate economy.  I remember a few colleagues that were pulling in high six-figure incomes as mortgage brokers and real estate agents and were spending every dime as quickly as it came in.  Many have downsized drastically and don’t have a penny to their name.  Ironically many of these people drank their own Kool-Aid and bought million dollar homes with the same mortgage sewage they were passing onto their clients.  A few are now in bankruptcy and many have lost or will lose their homes.

California is likely to face a lost decade in housing.  Do I mean from 2000 to 2010?  In some areas we have already reached a lost decade.  Yet many areas will face their lost decade from 2010 to 2020.  Here are 5 reasons why California real estate will have a decade of slow or no growth ahead:

Reason #1 – High paying finance and real estate jobs are gone

I went ahead and compiled 14 years of license and broker data for California above.  From 1996 to 2002 we averaged approximately 300,000 active licensees in the state.  This was before the bubble ramped up.  We reached a peak in 2008 of 549,000 active licensees.  Today that number is down to 493,000 and is continuing to fall as many simply let their license expire.  Even with recent sales increases we are still close to half the volume of the bubble years.  Plus, home prices are half of what their peak values were.  So even basic math will tell you that at the very least, half of income in this industry is gone (for example the 5 to 6 percent agent cut is based on the sale price).  Then on the lending side you have 96.5% of loans being government backed and these don’t provide the nice kickbacks that the option ARMs did for example.  In other words, high income no GED required jobs are now gone.  Even those with industry specific degrees and training are finding it hard to get good jobs in today’s economy.

And many other jobs tied to the FIRE side of California employment and construction took big hits:

These were good paying jobs that are now gone.  Many of these jobs depended on the perpetual growth of the housing bubble.  But even as we will see with inventory levels, do we still have a bubble in this industry?

Reason #2 – Too little inventory and sales for the amount of workers

I went ahead and took a major snapshot of how much MLS inventory is currently listed for public view in California.  Although inventory is spiking, you start seeing issues that are plaguing the industry:

Since February of this year California has added 64,500 homes to the MLS, an increase of 41 percent.  This is a massive jump.  Part of this jump aligns perfectly with the failure of HAMP and more banks pushing inventory onto the market.

But let us use that current inventory number and run a quick analysis:

493,576 real estate agents and brokers / 219,217 homes on the CA MLS = 2 ¼ agents and brokers for each home

I find the above fascinating.  We have close to 500,000 licensed agents and brokers for 219,000 homes on the market.  And you wonder why we have a problem?  This is like going to a used car lot with 20 cars and finding 50 sales representatives.  However like many things in life, I believe that the Pareto principle applies here as well.  That is, 80 percent of sales is likely to come from 20 percent of those with active licenses.

Although the shadow inventory is much larger than the 219,000 homes on the MLS, agents and brokers only make money when they sell.  And banks don’t seem in a big hurry to move the entire inventory out at once.  In other words, we have years of junk built up in the pipeline with wages slashed.

Reason #3 – California budget and revenues shattered

If you want to see a problem in the making look at this:

The state for the fiscal year of 2007-08 collected over $101 billion.  How do things look today?

For the fiscal year that is coming to an end, we are projected to bring in $81 billion.  We are short by $20 billion and this includes every kind of tax increase you can imagine.  This does little considering half of the state revenues come from personal income taxes and many of those high paying bubble jobs (see above) are now gone.  Yet the state kept spending more and more assuming that a Ponzi like income stream was going to come in forever.  That is not the case as we are now painfully finding out so we must adjust.

The Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) is projecting problems well into 2015.  Another issue that the state will have to contend with is high pension costs of soon to retire baby boomers.  Recently CalPERs announced that the state will need to pitch in $700 million to cover its poor bets.  They are pulling back for the moment:

“(LA Times) Facing political fire, the state’s largest public pension fund Wednesday retreated for a month from a plan to approve a $700-million increase in taxpayer contributions it gets from the state and about 1,000 school districts.

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System board, said the fund needs to assess the consequences of the huge hike on California at a time when the state faces an estimated $19-billion budget deficit.”

You can rest assured that there will be some serious battles on this front for years to come.

Reason #4 – Shadow inventory

The Wall Street Journal put together data regarding shadow inventory that we already knew about.  California ranks near the top of shady banks and home squatters that are simply staying put and not paying their mortgage:

Source:  WSJ

This is just nuts.  In California 7 percent of loans that are 90 days overdue are not in foreclosure!  What is even more stunning is the nationwide amount of people living in homes with no payment and foreclosure for 2 years!  This is a slap in the face of every prudent middle class American.  And the idea of poor homeowners is nonsense here in California.  You have folks living in prime locations not paying their mortgage who can easily afford a nice rental.  But they’ll sit it out while banks sit back and suck on thetaxpayer gravy train.  This data merely confirms what we already know.  The state is plagued with delinquent loans.  In fact, 15 percent of all California loans are 30+ days late or worse.

Reason #5 – Consumer psychology and jobs

The mantra that real estate prices never fall is completely shattered for an entire generation of Americans.  Those who lived through the Great Depression are largely absent from our current economy and can’t share their wisdom.  And given the preference of Americans to watch Dancing with the Stars instead of reading some history, many have forgotten that real estate can crash and crash hard.  But if history is any guide, we will have a generation of Americans who are more cautious and thus will put a lid on any mega jumps in appreciation for the next decade.

On Friday the California unemployment rate came out and we are still at a record high of 12.6 percent.  Adjusted for the underemployment rate we are closer to 23 percent.  Even the running average at the BLS shows us over 21 percent:

Keep in mind this is a one year rolling average so this will only move higher as we have been at peak levels for many months.  This also goes back to my earlier reasons for a lost decade in home prices.  Those high paying jobs are gone.  You can only purchase a home by what your income can support.  A large number of those depended on toxic mortgagesthat were easy to churn on a short notice.  After all, giving NINJA loans with no verification allowed seedy mortgage brokers to turn out loan after loan.  Now even with lax lending inFHA insured loans, at least they have to verify income.  As it turns out, there simply isn’t that many that can qualify in California.

I see a sideways moving decade for California real estate.  And for the next one or two years prices will start trending lower again as the Alt-A and option ARM waves hit and the gimmick parade starts running out.  You can only keep a lid on corruption for so long.  The “once in a century” problems now seem to be hitting every month.  A near 1,000 point drop in the Dow, the trillion dollar Euro bailout, and other mega events will come quicker as a reckoning day will hit.  All it takes is a failed Treasury auction and you can kiss cheap mortgage rates goodbye.

CASE FILE California BANKRUPTCY In Re HUBBEL and PEREZ RELIEF FROM STAY DENIED TILA QUESTION N.D.Cal.-03506637146

TILA Rescission, BK Court questions validity of “Creditor’s” claims, BAP Affirms denial of relief from stay.

source:PhilUp

non edited version: CASE FILE California BANKRUPTCY In Re HUBBEL and PEREZ RELIEF FROM STAY DENIED TILA QUESTION2