SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has completed work on a package of foreclosure-prevention bills aimed at preventing another massive real estate bust like the one that plunged California and the nation into a deep recession five years ago.
The governor on Tuesday signed into law SB 1474 by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), giving the attorney general authority to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate and issue indictments for alleged financial crimes, including mortgage fraud.
Also signed Tuesday were Assembly Bill 1950 by Assemblyman Mike Davis (D-Los Angeles), which extends from one to three years the legal statute of limitations for prosecuting mortgage-related crimes, and AB 2610 by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), which provides guarantees to renters that they can stay longer in foreclosed properties purchased by new owners.
The three new laws are part of a Homeowner Bill of Rights pushed by California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris.
"California has been the epicenter of the foreclosure and mortgage crisis," Harris said in a statement released by her office. "The Homeowner Bill of Rights will provide basic fairness and transparency for homeowners and improve the mortgage process for everyone."