Bill Aims To Reduce Blight; Help Struggling Homeowners

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 28, 2008
Under the measure by Senate Leader Don Perata, local communities could fine lenders up to one-thousand dollars a day if they let vacant homes get too run-down. That could include an overgrown yard or a stagnant swimming pool that’s become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The bill also includes new safeguards for those who took mortgages out between 2003 and 2007 – a time when adjustable-rate loans were widespread. Lenders would be required to discuss options with homeowners in that group who are facing foreclosure. There’s also something for renters: Owners of foreclosed properties would have to give them at least 60 days notice before eviction. Banks and mortgage companies had been opposed to an earlier version of the bill – but have removed their objections. The bill now moves to the State Assembly.