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Homeowner ‘Bill Of Rights’ Will Also Speed Foreclosures

— Starting January 1, distressed homeowners will get some new protections with the California Homeowner Bill of Rights. But they may also see their homes go more quickly into foreclosure.

Aired 12/31/12 on KPBS News.

Legislation to protect distressed California homeowners will also expedite a process that can lead to foreclosure.

An Encinitas home in foreclosure.
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Above: An Encinitas home in foreclosure.

The laws that takes effect in the new year will outlaw some infamous practices, like dual tracking. That's where a person can have their home foreclosed, even though they thought the bank was working to help them keep it.

But the legislation also aims to accelerate a process that has been bogged down in red tape.

Ali Tarzi is with San Diego's Community Housing Works. He said when homeowners apply for a loan modification, in the new year the bank will have less than a week to inform that person their application was received.

"From that point, the bank has 30 days to give the homeowner an answer," he said, "modification approved or modification denied."

Tarzi said expediting the process will relieve the uncertainty that's plaguing many homeowners. But it will also boost the number of short sales and foreclosures in the near term.

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