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Last week banksters from across the state coverged on Sacramento, California fulling intending to completely derail bills which would implement California Attorney General Kamala Harris' proposed Homeowner Bill or Rights.

California's attorney general is seeking to build on a recent nationwide bank settlement over home foreclosures by lobbying state lawmakers to advance a package of mortgage-protection bills.

The proposals by Attorney General Kamala Harris would provide safeguards for homeowners while giving her office more leeway to investigate financial crimes.

Her 11-bill package would ban some of the worst practices that contributed to the housing crisis. It would write the terms of the national agreement into state law and apply them to every lender.


Much like their compatriots in theft in the health insurance industry who stopped AB 52 (rate regulation) and SB 810 (single payer), bank lobbyists aim was squarely focused on California's DINO legislators who take much of their campaign money from financial institutions. The insurance lobby, with their DINO allies (and uniform Republican support, naturally) defeated AB 52 and SB 810, and a very similar thing looked like it was going to happen again last week as the Senate and Assembly banking committees considered the homeowner legislation.

Indeed, as the video states, the votes were not there to pass Harris' bills out of committee. Realizing this, committee chairs tabled voting on the bills. But then a strange thing happened.

Over Republicans' objections, the Senate approved an Assembly bill that will be used to create a conference committee to advance the major bills sought by Harris.
In other words, somehow (I'm not clear on the details) the Assembly quickly passed a motion which would bypass its own (and the Senate's) banking committees, creating a joint committee to work on the bills and bring them to the floors of the Assembly and the Senate. And then the Senate passed the same motion!

Score one for whomever came up with this manuever and for the Democratic leadership of the State Legislature to go along with it. Score another for Harris who probably had some hand in negotiating this workaround.

Banksters, as you might expect, were livid.

Banking and business groups said in a letter to lawmakers... that the measures, particularly the provision letting individual borrowers go to court, would slow the state's economic and housing market recovery. What are intended by Harris as homeowner protections would "result in a de facto moratorium on foreclosures" the California Bankers Association said.
(Okay, Kamala Harris did not really say "Damned Straight!" in response to the banksters protestations, but she was probably thinking it.)

To the banksters I say "Cry me a river." A large one, the Mississippi, say. Scratch that, cry me the entire fucking Pacific Ocean.

These are the same people who almost destroyed the economy of the entire world. These are the people who inspired

"Banks got bailed out! We got sold out!"

These are the people who say out of one mouth they will modify your loan and out of the other (yes, some of them may have two mouths, research is still ongoing) that they have filed foreclosure documents. These are same people who send letters to people demanding your death certificate before they will consider a loan modification.

Do I really need to continue? Lies. Cheating. Fraud. Robo-signing. Endless delays. "Lost" documents. There is no end to their perfidious tactics and chicanery.  And they want us to believe that putting a brake on these activities would be some kind of disaster?


I'm laughing all the way to the bank credit union.

Of course nothing has passed the legislature yet. The banksters may still win, despite their apparently being outmanuevered in what is only round one. The Legislature's record of standing up for the people of California against special interests is, shall we be diplomatic, abysmal. There were enough DINO's in the legislature to defeat health care reforms, and there very might be enough to defeat these reforms on the floor of the Senate or the House -- if the banksters lobbyists have not already managed to water them down badly enough so as to be useless by the time a vote is taken.

Still, it looks like the 99% are still in the ballgame.

What will these reforms do? Here's some of the bill numbers and a shortened summary of their goals.

Assembly Bill 1602 / Senate Bill 1470 -- The Foreclosure Reduction Act of 2012

Requires creditors to provide documenation as to creditor's right to foreclose and evidence of ownership. Forbids foreclosure while loan modification process is underway or a trail load modification is underway. Gives homeowners the right to sue when correct procedures are not followed.

Assembly Bill 2425 / Senate Bill 1471 -- Due Process Reform Legislation

Requires a single point of contact to borrowers in foreclosure, and an email address, fax number and mailing address to submit requested information as part of a loan modification. Penalizes "robosigning."

>Assembly Bill 2314 / Senate Bill 1472 -- Blight Prevention Legislation

Prevents blight enforcement actions against new homeowners for sixty days. Increases fines for blighted properties.

Assembly Bill 2610/ Senate Bill 1473 -- Tenant Protection Legislation

Require purchasers of foreclosed homes to honor the terms of existing leases and give tenants at least 90 days notice before commencing eviction proceedings.

Assembly Bill 1950 -- Enhancement of Attorney General Enforcement

Extend the statute of limitations to four years for violations of law commonly occurring in connection with foreclosure-related scams.

Senate Bill 1474 / Assembly Bill 1763 - Attorney General Special Grand Jury

Authorize the Attorney General to impanel a special grand jury for the purposes of investigating and indicting multi-jurisdictional financial crimes against the state.

If you live in California, tell your representatives to support these bills. The house you save might very well be your own.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Sat Apr 21, 2012 at 09:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, SFKossacks, Progressive Policy Zone, Dailykos Kossacks For Action, California politics, Foreclosure and Renters Rights and Battles, and Black Kos community.

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