Mortgage Headache Spawns Legislation in California

Mortgage debt is crippling the housing market all over the country, and the homeowners who've taken on more debt than they can afford. Now, real estate interests and banking interests are battling over legislation intended to ease the pain.

"For the first time, the debate is spilling into the realm of law making, with state legislators in California considering a bill that would redefine the obligations of many defaulting homeowners. The efforts to shape the bill demonstrate how much is at stake - in California and the many other states with distressed real estate markets.

The legislation introduced in the winter by the real estate lobby would have largely shielded foreclosed homeowners from debt collectors. But by the time it passed the state Senate on June 3, the banking lobby had succeeded in scaling it back. Now the bill goes to the state Assembly, where a committee will take it up next week, and bankers intend to continue lobbying."

Some worry the legislation could increase the amount of abandoned homes and defaulted loans.

Full Story: Battles in California Over Mortgages


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