Legislative Gossip

 Here’s a list of the 2012 Legislative Session’s bills and Department of Real Estate Regulations which may substantially affect how you do business as a real estate licensee. Bills are sorted by topic, and we provide you with the bill number, the status, and a brief description of the bill. Reports on passed bills can be found on our Legislative Watch page. This list is updated every month.

Status Legend:

INTRO = Date the bill was originally introduced for consideration. Bill is still being considered, but not yet law.
AMENDED = Date the bill was last amended. Bill is still being considered, but not yet law.
ENROLLED = Bill approved by both houses and pending the governor’s signature.
PASSED = Bill signed by the governor and passed into law.

Energy Efficiency
SB 1130 INTRO
02/21/12
This bill would establish the Commercial Building Energy Retrofit Financing Program to provide financial assistance to owners of eligible buildings for implementing energy efficiency retrofit measures for the buildings.
Foreclosure
AB 1547 INTRO
01/25/12
This bill would indefinitely require a 30-day notice to be given to a borrower before a lender files a Notice of Default (NOD). This bill would also indefinitely require a tenant or subtenant of a property sold in foreclosure to be given 60 days’ written notice to quit the property before being removed.
AB 1557 INTRO
01/26/12
Until January 1, 2018, this bill would require the legal owner of a vacant residential property purchased at a foreclosure to maintain the property or face penalties up to $1,000 per day of violation.
SB 447 AMENDED
01/11/12
This bill would prohibit the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) from foreclosing on a mortgage for a single-family residence financed by a revenue bond and owned or serviced by the agency simply because the residence is being used as a rental property.Editor’s note — It’s about time. We suggest they include CalVet loans in this provision as well.
AB 1602 and         SB 1470 AMENDED
04/10/12
This bill would:

  • require a lender to provide documentation to the borrower establishing its right to foreclose prior to recording a notice of default (NOD);
  • require a lender to provide documentary evidence of ownership, chain of title and documentation demonstrating the right to foreclose at the time of filing an NOD; prohibit a lender from filing an NOD or a notice of trustee’s sale (NOTS) when a timely-filed application for a loan modification or other loss mitigation measure is pending;
  • prohibit a lender from recording an NOTS while a borrower is in compliance with the terms of a trial loan modification or other approved loss mitigation measure; and
  • require a lender to disclose why a loan modification or other loss mitigation measure has been denied; and require a lender to personally serve a notice of foreclosure sale or postponement. (Part of the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights)
AB 2425 and         SB 1471 AMENDED
04/10/12
This bill would require lenders to provide a single point of contact and dedicated contact information to borrowers in the foreclosure, loan modification, shortsale or other loss mitigation processes. This bill would also authorize a borrower to challenge an unlawful foreclosure commencement in court and impose a $10,000 penalty for “robosigned” documents. (Part of the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights)
AB 2314 and         SB 1472 AMENDED
04/11/12
This bill would prohibit action against purchasers of blighted property within 60 days of purchase if repairs are being made to the property. This bill would also increase fines against owners of blighted property from $1,000 per day to $5,000 per day. (Part of the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights)
AB 2610 and         SB 1473 AMENDED
03/29/12
This bill  would extend the requirements indefinitely for purchasers of foreclosed homes to honor terms of existing leases, giving tenants at least 90 days notice before beginning the eviction process. (Part of the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights)
SB 1069 AMENDED
03/15/12
This bill would prohibit a deficiency judgment on any refinance of a purchase money loan, except on new principal not applied to the purchase money loan, or to fees, costs or expenses of the refinance. This would become effective for purchase-money refinances executed on or after January 1, 2013.
Landlording
SB 1055 INTRO
02/09/12
This bill would prohibit a landlord from requiring cash-only for a rent payment or security deposit. A landlord who allows rent or security deposits to be paid online would also be required to accept payment by check or money order. It would become effective for leases or rental agreements made after January 1, 2013.
AB 1679 INTRO
02/14/12
This bill would authorize a landlord and tenant to mutually agree to have the landlord deposit any remaining portion of the security deposit directly to the tenant’s bank account, and authorize the landlord to email the itemized statement of charges incurred and deducted from the security deposit to the tenant.
AB 2521 INTRO
02/24/12
This bill would allow a landlord to retain, sell or destroy personal property left behind and unclaimed by a former tenant if the value of the property is less than or equal to $700.
AB 1925 AMENDED
03/29/12
This bill would limit the compensation from a landlord to a temporarily displaced tenant due to circumstances in the living space not caused by the tenant to $275 per day per tenant household, and actual moving expenses, and would only be applied in cities or counties that administer a system of rent controls.
AB 2522 AMENDED
03/29/12
This bill would prohibit the management of a mobilehome park from making a space rental agreement contingent on the mobilehome owner agreeing to an arbitration clause or waiving their right to a trial by jury as a result of a dispute between the owner and the management.
Licensees
AB 1511 AMENDED
04/09/12
When a real estate agent obtains a natural hazards report from a natural hazards expert, this bill would require the expert to determine whether the property in question is located within 2,000 feet of a gas transmission or hazardous liquid pipeline.
SB 875 AMENDED
01/04/12
This bill would require the Department of Real Estate (DRE) to initiate a hearing to determine whether to issue a license by filing a statement of issues and notify an applicant if their application is denied in lieu of filing a statement of issues.
AB 1718 INTRO
02/16/12
This bill would change the education-in-lieu-of-experience prerequisite for real estate broker licenses from having a four-year college degree with a specialization in real estate to a four-year degree with a major or minor in real estate.
Mortgages
AB 1602 INTRO
02/06/12
This bill would prohibit any agent (including a mortgagee, trustee or beneficiary) from recording an NOD unless the agent has made reasonable and good faith efforts to evaluate loan modification options to avoid foreclosure. It would authorize the borrower to receive compensation if the agent does not make these efforts.
AB 1603 AMENDED
04/17/12
This bill would prohibit replacement insurance policies made by mortgage servicers (force-placed insurance) when a borrower does not make payments on hazard, flood or homeowner’s insurance sufficient to satisfy the terms of the mortgage loan agreement, unless it is reasonable to believe the borrower has failed to comply with contract requirements regarding hazard, flood or homeowner’s insurance. It would require the servicer to advance payments to continue the borrower’s existing policy if the borrower’s existing hazard, flood or homeowner’s insurance policy is paid through an escrow account, and to provide written notice before arranging for force-placed insurance.
FHA Proposal INTRO
01/20/12
This proposal would reduce the maximum allowable seller concessions to reflect industry norms. The proposal calls for a 30 day public comment period and analysis before a final rule is issued.
SB 980 INTRO
01/23/12
Until January 1, 2013, this bill would prohibit any person who negotiates, arranges or offers to perform a mortgage modification for one-to-four unit residential property from collecting any pre-performance compensation, requiring collateral to secure payment or taking a power of attorney from the borrower.
AB 407 AMENDED
01/04/12
This bill would increase the penalty for a lender neglecting to execute a certificate of discharge and record it with the county within 30 days after a mortgage is satisfied from $500 to $1,000.
AB 1745 AMENDED
03/29/12
This bill would prohibit a mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary or authorized agent from recording a notice of trustee’s sale after providing written approval for a shortsale, unless approval has been revoked due to a change in a condition upon which approval was originally granted, via a written notice provided to the seller no less than three days before approval is withdrawn.
Real Estate Practice
SB 1220 AMENDED
04/16/12
This bill would impose a $75 fee for the recording of every real estate instrument, paper or notice required or permitted by law to be recorded.
Taxes
AB 1552 AMENDED
03/22/12
This bill would allow deductions on all portions of property tax bills, including but not limited to real property taxes, personal property taxes, special taxes, special assessments, fees and other charges. Editor’s note — Since Mello-Roos bonds are not taxes (they are loans), such amounts should not be deductible except to the extent of the interest paid by the homeowner under the bond payments.
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