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Calif. Homeowners Bill Of Rights Aimed At Easing Foreclosures

Michael Lea, director of SDSU's Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate, talks to Joanne Faryon about the Homeowners Bill of Rights.


Dr. Michael Lea, director of SDSU's Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate.


State Attorney General Kamala Harris released a package of bills Wednesday called the “Homeowner Bill of Rights.” These bills are designed to protect homeowners caught up in the mortgage and foreclosure crisis.

But the bills do not provide direct regulation, said Michael Lea, director of San Diego State University's Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate. Instead, they allow banks to come up with the practices that meet the bills’ guidelines.

“The regulation, if you will, is the threat of potential legal action that could overturn a foreclosure,” Lea told KPBS Television’s “Evening Edition.”

“It puts the onus on (lenders) to have this done right, to avoid some of the outsourcing problems that plagued earlier processes,” he added.

The bill of rights is aimed at creating a set of requirements lenders must accomplish before instituting a foreclosure process, he said.

“One of the major objectives of these bills is to provide more of a certain standardized transparent process,” he said.

Lea said the bill of rights codifies the agreements that were put into last month’s settlement with the nation's big banks over their foreclosure policies. While California obtained the “lion’s share” of that settlement, Lea said it would not have a big impact on the local housing market.

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