Two "“Homeowner Bill of Rights” bills pass Senate policy committees

April 17, 2012

SACRAMENTO – Two bills that are part of the “Homeowner Bill of Rights” package proposed by Attorney General Kamala Harris passed key Senate policy committees today.  The bills protect homeowners and tenants from unfair and unethical practices by banks and mortgage companies.


“My two bills protect vulnerable tenants at a time when they need it most and gives the Attorney General the tools to take action against financial crimes,” Hancock stated.


Senate Bill 1474 by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) authorizes the Attorney General to impanel a special grand jury to investigate and indict those who commit financial crimes that take place in more than one jurisdiction. It was approved by the Senate Committee on Public Safety by a vote of 7-0.


“These crimes often take place in more than one jurisdiction,” Senator Hancock commented.  “This bill ensures that financial criminals won’t get away with financial crimes committed in multiple locations throughout the state.”


Senate Bill 1473, also by Senator Hancock, requires purchasers of foreclosed homes to honor the terms of existing leases and give tenants at least 90 days’ notice before commencing eviction proceedings. It was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 3-2.


“This bill strengthens California law by giving tenants the same rights they have under federal law. There have been too many stories of leases cancelled and long-time tenants thrown out of their homes with little notice because of foreclosure proceedings,” Hancock stated.  “It’s about time they had more protection.


“Many innocent people are suffering because Wall Street and the banks gambled with the economy and lost.  We need to do more to ensure that the people and institutions that took advantage of them are prosecuted,” Senator Hancock commented.


Both bills will next be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.