Distressed Homeowners: Feel like putting your head in the sand? Do you know about the California Homeowner Bill of Rights?

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Due to unfair bank practices, too many Americans have been adversely affected by the housing crisis. On January 1, 2013, the Homeowner Bill of Rights (“HBOR”) went into effect in California. The bill prohibits a series of inherently unfair bank practices that have needlessly forced thousands of Californians into foreclosure. A component of the bill prohibits the process known as dual tracking, where a lender forecloses on a property while simultaneously negotiating a loan modification or short sale in order to avoid foreclosure (and preserve the Homeowner’s credit).

Although foreclosure rates have recently decreased, these statistics are in comparison to historical high rates of foreclosure in the last four years. Additionally, the HBOR will likely slow the foreclosure process as banks move to comply to its provisions (and give Homeowners a fair shot at foreclosure alternatives). With that said, there still are many distressed Homeowners out there: 1 out of every 810 housing units received a foreclosure notice in December 2012 (RealtyTrac);

Foreclosure rates: 11.9% (Latinos), 9.8% (African Americans) 5% (Whites) (Center for Responsible Lending);

Approximately 23% of all Homeowners are currently underwater (Multiple sources);

The recidivism rate on loan modifications going back into default is high (Multiple sources); and

The unemployment rate has averaged 8.9% the last four years (US Department of Labor).

“The California Homeowner Bill of Rights will materially alter the contours of mortgage servicing for borrowers in default. Historically, banks have struggled with compliance due to operational failure. When you use WatchThisProperty.com you no longer have to be in the dark. Using this site will help you to utilize the new rights of the HBOR in order to protect your most important asset, your home.” Tiffany R. Norman, from TRN Law Associates.

The HBOR contains additional protections, including: banning robo-signing, the guarantee of a single point of contact, and the right to challenge your lender on their right to foreclose. Homeowners now have a tool designed for them (and not investors) to bring transparency and help them manage the foreclosure process.

"I was a victim of Dual Tracking which was a normal practice for banks. I was making my trial payments and struggling to keep my home when I was foreclosed on. That’s why WatchThisProperty.com is such an important tool. They will not only tell you if a bank has started foreclosure procedures but also provide information which helps you stay in your home.” Jose, Homeowner, Pittsburg, CA

WatchThisProperty.com believes Homeowners should be able to monitor the foreclosure status of their home in an efficient and inovative way, including allowing Homeowners to monitor foreclosure and lien document filings and trustee sale information. Homeowners will be alerted electronically and will not have to rely on snail mail (or driving to the county records office) to learn such important and timely information.

About WatchThisProperty.com WatchThisProperty.com helps to keep Homeowners and Tenants in their homes with relevant and timely information. Founded in 2011, WatchThisProperty.com is comprised of a team of consumer advocates, technology, legal, and banking professionals. More information is available at WatchThisProperty.com.


Dawn Agent


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