Nationwide Foreclosure Activity Down Thanks To California's Homeowners Bill of Rights
By Mel Fabrikant Friday, February 15, 2013, 10:32 AM EST
Progressive Groups That Worked To Pass Landmark Legislation In California Hail Data
New data released today – from RealityTrac – shows that foreclosure activity nationwide is accelerating downward, dropping 7 percent in the last month. Experts track the national decline to California where the landmark Homeowners Bill of Rights, championed by progressives in the state, went into effect in January causing a 39.5 percent decrease in foreclosure filings from December to January.
"California's landmark Homeowners Bill of Rights is showing real and immediate results for homeowners. The data released today is proof of what we said for months during the fight to pass the legislation -- that this bill is a vital first step to stabilizing the house market and bringing relief to millions of homeowners around the state. This legislation, now a model that other states are seeking to emulate, would never have passed if it wasn't for the campaign run by progressives organizations throughout the state, particularly the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), PICO California, and the California Reinvestment Coalition. We hope the federal government will follow California's lead," said Rick Jacob, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, the online backbone of the progressive coalition that campaigned for passage of the bill last year.
“The news today is a real testament to the work of community groups across California who fought hard, together with Attorney General Harris, for the passage of the Homeowner Bill of Rights. The Homeowner Bill of Rights is the strongest foreclosure prevention legislation in the country, and numerous states are considering enacting similar laws this year. There are so many ways that homeowners are beingabused and in trouble that no one law is the magic bullet, but the Homeowner Bill of Rights goes a long way towards giving homeowners a fighting chance. ACCE and our allies are working hard to make sure that this law is fully and fairly implemented,” said Vivian Richardson, ACCE Home Defenders League
"The decrease in foreclosure starts in California, while welcome, is also an indictment of the past five years when banks failed to deal fairly with the hundreds of thousands of California families struggling to keep their homes," said Kevin Stein of the California Reinvestment Coalition. "The Homeowners Bill of Rights is a rare point of leverage to hold banks accountable to communities, and this data point indicates that it's finally starting to work. At the same time, the foreclosure crisis is sadly far from over, and our latest survey of 65 housing counselors in California shows that banks continue to violate dual track and other provisions in California."
"The news today demonstrates the impact a broad and diverse coalition of community, faith, and advocacy groups can have on rectifying unjust practices and creating opportunities for families who have been the victim of abusive practices. The coalition that moved this bill forward and the policy created are models for the state and the nation," said Corey Timpson, director of PICO California.