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Homeowner Bill Of Rights Gets Mixed Reviews Nearly One Year In

Credit: Getty Images

California Attorney General Kamala Harris speaks to reporters after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Homeowner Bill of Rights in San Francisco.

Aired 10/23/13 on KPBS News.

California’s Homeowners Bill of Rights is nearly a year old and both banks and groups representing distressed homeowners say the legislation intended to help distressed mortgage holders is a bit of a mixed bag.

California's Homeowner Bill of Rights is nearly a year old and both banks and groups representing distressed homeowners said the legislation intended to help distressed mortgage holders is a bit of a mixed bag.

Maurice Weeks is with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. He said provisions in the law have helped slow the state's foreclosure rate.

"Specifically the stopping of dual tracking, banks know that they can't force people through a foreclosure process at the same time where folks are looking for modifications," Weeks said.

Backers of the Bill of Rights also said the "single point of contact" requirement between borrowers and lenders has cut down on lost and resubmitted paperwork.

Jenna Mills with the California Bankers Association agrees those are positive steps. But she said other new rules have slowed the housing market's recovery.

"While we've enhanced the consumer protections, all the issues concerning the legal liability, really continue to be a concern," Mills said.

Meanwhile, some homeowner advocates said loan modification applications need clearer state guidelines.

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