Thursday, October 15, 2009

California Laws Get Tough on Mortgage Finance

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed seven new mortgage finance bills in to law on Monday, most of which crack down on fraud and set new requirements and restrictions for mortgage and reverse mortgage originators. Yesterday posted an in depth article describing each bill and their intended purposes. Check out their list below.

Senate Bill (SB) 36 regulates the licensing requirements for residential loan originators in compliance with the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act.

SB 237 requires appraisal management companies (AMCs) and appraisers register with the Office of Real Estate Appraisers and subjects appraisers to the provisions of the Real Estate Appraisers’ Licensing and Certification Law.

SB 239 raises the crime of mortgage fraud from a misdemeanor to a felony and makes it easier for prosecutors to obtain fraudulent loan documents to investigate cases.

Assembly Bill (AB) 260 places restrictions on subprime loans and prohibits originators from “steering” borrowers, or encouraging borrowers to buy riskier loan products when they are eligible for affordable products. It also gives state regulatory agencies the authority to suspend or revoke the licenses of real estate lenders and mortgage brokers that violate the state’s lending laws.

AB 329 sets guidelines for reverse mortgages originated for elderly borrowers — those over 65 years old — requiring specific disclosures and offering counseling service referrals. Originators are also prohibited from selling other financial products to a reverse mortgage borrower.

AB 957 gives the buyers of foreclosed property the right to choose local escrow officers to complete transactions. It prohibits the seller of a residential property from requiring the buyer to use an escrow service company or purchase title insurance chosen by the seller.

AB 1160 requires originators to provide borrowers with a mortgage summary document translated in the language the contract was verbally negotiated.

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