Will the Homeowner Bill of Rights Impact Livermore Valley Real Estate?

Beginning in 2013, the Homeowner Bill of Rights puts California at the front lines of foreclosure prevention. The passage of the law has been hailed as a victory for California homeowners, while mortgage lenders have concerns about potential impact to the housing market. Will it mean a real estate slowdown for Livermore Valley?

First, here are the highlights of the law:

Mortgage servicers cannot pursue foreclosure while a loan modification or short sale is being evaluated.

Mortgage servicers cannot begin foreclosure until they have provided documentation to the homeowner that proves their right to take foreclosure action.

Paper trails must be clear when mortgage loans change hands, and the “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents is prohibited.

Mortgage servicers must provide a single point of contact for distressed homeowners.

Undoubtedly, the law provides good protections for California homeowners. Lenders argue that lengthening and complicating a foreclosure process does not benefit the housing market. In states such as New York and Florida where foreclosure can take years to accomplish, depressed home values have been slow to recover. Mortgage bankers suggest that California’s expedient foreclosure process is what enabled us to begin recovery, while the rest of the nation struggled with ever-declining home values.

Looking at current trends, it’s unlikely that the new law by itself will affect the Livermore Valley real estate market. Foreclosures are down by over 23% in Alameda County as of June 2012. It’s the number of foreclosures, and not the specific process of law, that truly impacts the market. So long as the broader economy remains stable and our local employment outlooks are good, mortgage defaults should continue to decrease – and home values should continue to improve.

We should also remember that the Federal foreclosure settlement reached with the five largest mortgage servicers has already changed foreclosure practices. This too, had caused concern about mortgage availability, but it has not stopped the market.

As your professional Livermore Valley real estate agent, I understand the concerns of today’s buyers and sellers. The real estate market is continually changing, which is why local experience counts! If you are buying or selling a home in Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton, contact me today! I will be happy to provide you with the latest market statistics and help you with your real estate goals.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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