By Karen Ruiz and Stuart R. Simone
New Federal Laws for 2019
Homeowner Bill of Rights (federal version)
Under federal law, mortgage servicers must not make the first notice or filing required for the foreclosure process until a mortgage loan account is more than 120 days delinquent. This will give borrowers a reasonable time to submit modification applications. Servicers must not start a foreclosure proceeding if an application is pending for a loan modification or other alternative to foreclosure. (12 CFR § 1024.41.)
Update to income tax brackets and marginal tax rates. The update gets rid of the penalty you owe if you don’t get health insurance (in regard to the Affordable Care Act).
New California Laws for 2019
California Homeowner Bill of Rights: Restores some features of 2013-2017 version
SB 818 restores and reenacts many of HBOR’s provisions that expired on Jan. 1, 2018. Notable reenactments include:
- Restores the distinction between “small” and “large” banks.
- A large bank mortgage servicer or lender can’t record a notice of default or notice of sale, or conduct a trustee’s sale, if a foreclosure prevention alternative has been approved in writing by all parties (e.g., first lien investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer as applicable), and proof of funds or financing has been provided to the servicer.
- A mortgage servicer must rescind or cancel any pending trustee’s sale if a short sale has been approved by all parties (e.g., first lien investor, junior lienholder, and mortgage insurer as applicable), and proof of funds or financing has been provided to the lender or authorized agent. For other types of foreclosure prevention alternatives, a lender must record a rescission of a notice of default or cancel a pending trustee’s sale if a borrower executes a permanent foreclosure prevention alternative. These requirements do not apply to smaller banks as defined.
- A mortgage servicer cannot record a notice of default, notice of sale, or conduct a trustee’s sale for a nonjudicial foreclosure if the borrower’s complete application for a first lien loan modification is pending as specified, or if a borrower is in compliance with the terms of a written trial or permanent loan modification, forbearance, or repayment plan.
- A mortgage servicer cannot record a notice of default for a nonjudicial foreclosure until the mortgage servicer informs the borrower of the borrower’s right to: request copies of the promissory note, deed of trust, payment history, and assignment of loan if any to demonstrate the mortgage servicer’s right to foreclose; and certain protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act if the borrower is a service member or dependent. This requirement does not pertain to smaller banks as defined.
These requirements, which had expired on January 1, 2018, have now been reenacted.
Effective September 01, 2019—in counting a 3 days’ notice to pay rent or quit or a 3 days’ notice to perform covenant or quit, or in responding to a complaint for unlawful detainer, Saturdays, Sundays, and judicial holidays are excluded. Code of Civ. Proc, §§ 1161 and 1167.
Financial Disclosures: Foreign Language translations for Loan Mods
SB 1201—law requires financial institutions to provide specified mortgage loan modification documents in the same language as the negotiation if the terms of negotiation are conducted in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean. This also includes the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms in addition to the Good Faith Estimate.
Deeds: Revocable Transfer on Death Deed
AB 1739 (an amendment to Probate Code § 5626). This law is effective retroactively to January 01, 2016. The Revocable Transfer on Death Deed no longer requires the statutory FAQ to be recorded as part of the deed. A failure to record those pages does not affect the effectiveness of a revocable transfer on death deed.
Landlord-Tenant: Law Enforcement & Emergency Assistance
AB 2413—This law protects tenants from the actual or threatened termination of tenancy, or failure to renew a tenancy by protecting the right of a tenant or resident to summon law enforcement or emergency assistance as a victim of abuse, victim of crime, or individual in an emergency, or on behalf of another person who falls into one of those categories.
The protection is not unlimited but applies when the caller believes that emergency assistance is necessary to prevent or address the perpetration, exacerbation, or escalation of the abuse, crime, or emergency. The protections would presumably not apply to situations to calls or a pattern of 9-1-1 calls that were frivolous in nature or not necessary to prevent or address a crime, emergency, or incident of abuse. This law also protects tenants from the actual or threatened assessment of fines and penalties by the landlord, and from disparate treatment or rights as compared to other tenants who have not summoned emergency assistance. This law also extends these protections to tenants and residents when the emergency calls were made by someone who is not a tenant or resident of the landlord (e.g. when a visitor or resident of a neighboring building is the one who summoned emergency assistance).
Additionally, this law makes void, as contrary to public policy, any provision of a rental or lease agreement that prohibits or limits a tenant’s right to summon law enforcement or emergency assistance.
Pets and Divorce
Courts now can make custody decisions based on who walks the pet, who takes the pet to the vet, and who grooms the pet. Courts will also be authorized to order one spouse to provide food, shelter, and medical care for a pet before a final ruling.
Fires and Other Natural Disasters
SB 824—Prohibits an insurer from canceling or refusing to renew a homeowner’s insurance policy for one year from the date of a declaration of emergency and requires insurers to report specified fire risk information to the Department of Insurance.
SB 894—Provides assistance to survivors of major disasters or catastrophic events, including requiring insurers to renew a residential insurance policy for at least two renewal periods (24 months), requiring insurers to grant an additional 12 months of additional living expenses and allowing combined payments for losses to a primary dwelling and other structures so homeowners can apply those losses as they see fit, such as rebuilding the main home.
SB 917—Requires insurers to cover a loss resulting from a combination of disasters (landslide, mudslide, mudflow or debris flow) if an insured disaster is the proximate cause of the loss or damage and would otherwise be covered.
AB 1772—Extends from 24 months to 36 months the period of time within which an insurance policyholder is entitled to collect full replacement benefits under a replacement cost fire insurance policy.
AB 1800—Prohibits, in the event of a total loss, a residential property insurance policy from limiting or denying payment based on the fact that the policyholder has chosen to rebuild or purchase a home at a new location.
AB 2594—Extends the existing statute of limitations for a homeowner to sue an insurer from 12 to 24 months if the loss is related to a state of emergency.
For companies with 26+ employees, the base hourly wage increases to $12.00 per hour. For smaller businesses, the minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour.
In full-service restaurants, you can only get a plastic straw upon request.
- No one under the age of 21 years old can purchase a rifle or shotgun.
- Anyone convicted of a serious domestic assault will have a lifetime gun ban.
- Anyone hospitalized more than once in a year for mental health problems will have a lifetime gun ban.
- For anyone who obtains a concealed weapons permit, it will now be required to go through new gun safety training.
Sidewalk Food Vendors
Los Angeles has legalized sidewalk vending.