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State lawmakers move major foreclosure bill forward

SACRAMENTO, Calif.- California would become the first state to write into law much of the national mortgage settlement negotiated this year with the nation's top five banks, and expand it to all lenders, under wide-ranging legislation state lawmakers approved Monday.

Majority Democrats sent the homeowner protection package to Gov. Jerry Brown despite opposition from business and lending organizations and most Republican legislators.

The Assembly approved the legislation on a 53-25 vote, and the Senate followed by voting 25-13.

The legislation would require large lenders to provide a single point of contact for homeowners who want to discuss loan modifications. It would prohibit lenders from foreclosing while the lenders consider homeowners' request for alternatives to foreclosure. And it would let California homeowners sue lenders to stop foreclosures or seek monetary damages if the lender violates state law.

The protections would benefit all California homeowners, not just those whose mortgages are with the five banks that signed the national settlement in February. And many of the restrictions would become permanent, while those in the nationwide agreement will end after five years.


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