A little after 9:00 AM this morning, on a strict party line vote Attorney General Kamala Harris' Homeowners' Bill of Rights legislation finally made it out of the special conference committee it was assigned to months ago.

Torey Van Oot ‏@CapitolAlert
And less than an hour later, mortgage bills clear cmte with only Dem support
It passed 4-1, with all four Democrats in favor one Republicans opposed and one abstaining. To no one's surprise, representatives from the Mortage Bankers' Association and their ilk were still railing against its provisions in testimony to the committee minutes before the vote was to be taken.

Now the hard work begins: getting the legislation passed by the full legislature and signed by the Governor before the banksters can sink their lobbying hooks into the Conservadems in the legislature. No amendments will be allowed to this legislation in either the Senate or the Assembly; each House will be taking a strictly up-or-down vote... and the vote could come as early as Monday.

For information on the legislation see yesterday's diary, Is Kamala Harris' Homeowner Bill of Rights About to Become Law?.  This diary also contains a list of swing votes in both Houses.

The legislation, if it is passed, will be one of the few progressive laws pushed through in the entire United States this year. It will affect a significant percentage of the entire population (12%) of the country, and quite possibly serve as a template for other states' legislation.  If you live in California, make sure your representatives in the State legislature are supporters of SB 900 and AB 278.

The Courage Campaign has put together what they consider a list of key Senators and Assemblypersons who are swing votes for passage containing contact information.

If any of these people are your California representatives, you should certainly call them and let them know that you want SB 900 / AB 278, the Homeowners' Bill of Rights, to be passed.

Sen. Calderon Sen. Correa Sen. Ed Hernandez Sen. McCleod
Sen. Padilla Sen. Rubio Sen. Vargas Sen. Wright
Asm. Eng Asm. Feuer Asm. Fletcher Asm. Fuentes
Asm. Galgiani Asm. Gatto Asm. Roger Hernandez Asm. Huber
Asm. Lara Asm. Artesia Asm. Perea Asm. Torres
In fact, if you anywhere live in California, it can't possibly hurt and will probably help to call your legislators and tell them you want the bill passed.

Find contact information for your California representatives here


Press Release from Courage Campaign:

Just now, by a vote of 4-2 the Homeowner Bill of Rights passed out of its special conference committee! As early as Monday, the bill will face a full vote on the floors of both the California Assembly and Senate. We are now one vote away from an unprecedented victory over Big Bank lobbyists. We are knocking on the door of fundamental reform that would end the most deceptive and unethical foreclosure practices.

Every member of the Legislature will vote on the bill. Click here to see if your representative is a key vote and contact them.

Starting in February, Courage Campaign members like you took action to support the Homeowner Bill of Rights. First, you signed on as citizen co-sponsors, showing Attorney General Kamala Harris that she had tremendous support. Then you helped launch the Foreclosure Flashlight, contrasting campaign contributions from the Big Banks with the foreclosure devastation in each legislator's home county. This powerful and easily understandable tool was highlighted in media coverage across California.

Contact your legislator now and tell them: Pass. This. Bill.

As the bill began public hearings in Sacramento, Courage Campaign members raised your voices even louder:

you deluged members of the Banking and Finance committee with calls and emails, forcing the bill into a special conference committee rather than allowing the banks to kill it;

you made it clear that if legislators on that committee gutted the bill for the benefit of Big Banks, we would make sure their constituents knew all about it;
you educated thousands of other Californians about this issue by sharing viral videos and garnering more media coverage that exposed the undemocratic power and access of corporate lobbyists;

you signed a petition demanding that the bill have real enforcement measures, so homeowners can have their day in court if banks break the law;

and lastly, you shared the heartrending story of Oriane Rousseau, whose husband was driven to suicide by the incompetence and cruelty of Wells Fargo.

You did all this, and because of it, our long fight may end in victory over the Big Bank lobbyists. Contact your representatives and demand they vote to pass the Homeowner Bill of Rights.

Yours in the fight for a better California,

Rick Jacobs
Chair and Founder, Courage Campaign

Statement from Senator Noreen Evans, Chair of the Conference Committee.

Joint Committee Announces Passage of Homeowner Bill of Rights
Ends Abusive Practices, Provides Protections, Enforcement

Conference Committee on S.B. 900 and A.B. 278

SACRAMENTO – Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) and Assemblyman Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park), co-chairs of the Joint Conference Committee on the California Foreclosure Crisis, today announced passage of the Joint Conference Committee Report’s identical bills S.B. 900 and A.B. 278, otherwise known as the Homeowner Bill of Rights. The vote was 4-1 with one member abstaining. The bill package will next go to the floor of both houses for a vote Monday, July 2.

“The mortgage and foreclosure abuse in California ends here,” said Noreen Evans. “This committee has passed historic legislation that codifies the protections eligible homeowners deserve, while helping to stabilize the foreclosure crisis that has thwarted California’s economic recovery.  The Legislature has studied, listened and engaged Californians and industry to find a solution that is fair and effective to mitigate this crisis. I look forward to the full support of the Legislature and Governor in implementing this package.”

Seeking to ensure protections for the hundreds of thousands of Californians still in the foreclosure process, the California State Legislature's Democratic leadership convened a six-member bipartisan conference committee in April to create permanent and locally enforceable actions that will protect homeowners and hold banks accountable to the 49-state National Mortgage Settlement Agreement.

“This bill is the result of a long and difficult process in which we received input from all interested parties; including homeowners and the banks and found that foreclosures benefit no one,” said Assemblymember Eng. “We ended such dubious practices as having a bank foreclose while a homeowner is in the process of modifying a loan and cut through confusion by making sure that there is a ‘single point of contact’ with mortgage servicers.  With half a million California homes at risk of foreclosure, this action was urgently needed.”

The Legislative Conference Committee on the California Foreclosure Crisis held four public hearings, totaling several dozen hours, during the last two months to review and propose a comprehensive legislative solution to protect homeowners in the mortgage market and help to keep families in their homes and revive the state's economy following historic foreclosure rates and rampant abuse of fraud and deception that caused more than a million Californian’s to lose their homes.

In summary, the bill package will:

Cease “dual-tracking” practices;

Establish a Single Point of Contact for homeowners with their lenders;

Mandates a chain of title of property for lenders to homeowners;

Enable enforcement mechanisms that will allow homeowners to hold lenders civilly liable for settlement abuses.

“I am gratified by this vote, which represents one more step toward our goal of achieving a Homeowner Bill of Rights for California,” said Attorney General Harris. “The mortgage and foreclosure crisis in our state demands urgent efforts to help Californians keep their homes. The legislature will now have the opportunity to cast a vote on behalf of California’s struggling homeowners.”  
“Passage of this conference report marks the beginning of the end for so-called "dual tracking" in California, ensuring that borrowers get full and fair consideration for loan modifications before starting the foreclosure process,” said Paul Leonard, California Director of the Center for Responsible Lending.  “The Joint Conference Committee has risen to the challenge of passing a strong bill that will reduce unnecessary foreclosures, backed by a robust enforcement mechanism giving borrowers accountability for servicer violations.  We hope the full Senate and Assembly will send this bill to the Governor for his signature.”

Originally posted to jpmassar on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 09:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, California politics, Progressive Policy Zone, Dailykos Kossacks For Action, SFKossacks, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

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