July 17, 2024

Just this month, Schwartzinager signed over 700 new laws.  Summaries of a few of these new laws affecting real estate are shown below:

  • REO Buyer Can Select Escrow and Title: Effective October 11, 2009, the Buyer’s Choice Act prohibits an REO lender selling residential property up to four units from directly or indirectly requiring the buyer to purchase escrow services or title insurance from any particular company.  A buyer, however, who has received written notice of the right to make an independent selection, may agree to the REO lender’s escrow or title recommendations.  An REO lender that violates this law can be held liable for three times the charges the buyer incurred, whereas a violation by the seller’s agent may be subject to license disciplinary action.  This law expires on January 1, 2015.  Assembly Bill 957.
  • No Advance Fee Loan Modifications: Starting October 11, 2009, a new law prohibits anyone from claiming any compensation for negotiating or arranging a loan modification until after that person fully performs each and every service as promised.  Aimed at combating loan modification scams, this ban applies to upfront fees collected by real estate agents and attorneys.  The ban expires on January 1, 2013.  Also effective immediately, anyone who negotiates or arranges a loan modification must give the borrower a specified notice that paying a third-party for loan modification services is unnecessary.  These new requirements apply to mortgage loans secured by residential property up to four units, with certain exceptions for lenders and loan servicers acting on their own behalf.  Violations can be penalized by, among other things, a $10,000 fine plus one-year imprisonment for individuals, or a $50,000 fine for businesses.  For the DRE announcement, go to http://www.dre.ca.gov/pdf_docs/SB94WebAnnouncement(brokers).pdf.  Senate Bill 94.

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