Bill Introductions -Real Estate

AB 261 (Dickinson): Existing property tax law generally authorizes a county tax collector to sell tax-defaulted property 5 years or more, or 3 years or more, as applicable, after that property has become tax defaulted.  Under existing law, when tax-defaulted property is sold, the deed conveys title to the purchaser free of all encumbrances of any kind existing before the sale, with specified exceptions including an exception for specified easements.  This bill would provide that easements of any kind, including prescriptive easements, are included within those specified exceptions to the conveyance of title free of encumbrances.  Existing law provides that a proceeding based on alleged invalidity or irregularity of any proceedings instituted in a sale of tax-defaulted property can only be commenced within a specified period.  This bill would provide that such a proceeding can only be commenced by recorded interest holders and their successors in interest in the real property, as specified.

AB 265 (Ammiano): Existing law specifies that a tenant is guilty of unlawful detainer upon default in the payment of rent under the lease after receipt of 3 days' notice of that violation and failure to correct it.  This bill would increase the time of the notice period from 3 to 14 days.

AB 406 (Davis): This bill would prohibit balloon payments from being included in the terms of an adjustable rate loan, as defined, for real property containing one to 4 residential units secured by a mortgage or deed of trust on real property.

AB 466 (Butler): Spot bill relative to common interest developments.

AB 645 (Davis): This bill would provide that the fiduciary duty owed to a borrower includes a requirement that the mortgage broker provide information to a borrower regarding the advantages and disadvantages of the loan options available to the borrower based upon the borrower's income and credit rating.  The bill would also provide that the fiduciary duty owed to a borrower includes, if a broker arranges a loan that is less advantageous than a loan for which the borrower is otherwise qualified and the borrower defaults on the loan, sending a letter to any consumer reporting agency indicating that the broker arranged the loan and that the loan was less advantageous than a loan the broker could have arranged for which the borrower was otherwise qualified.

AB 699 (Wagner): This bill would, until January 1, 2017, create the revocable transfer on death deed (revocable TOD deed), as defined, which would transfer real property on the death of its owner without a probate proceeding.  The bill would require that a person have testamentary capacity to make or revoke the deed and would require that the deed be in a statutory form provided for this purpose.  The revocable TOD deed must be signed, dated, acknowledged, and recorded, as specified, to be effective.  The bill would provide, among other things, that the deed, during the owner's life, does not affect his or her ownership rights and, specifically, is part of the owner's estate for the purpose of Medi-Cal eligibility and reimbursement.  The bill would void a revocable TOD deed if, at the time of the owner's death, the property is titled in joint tenancy or as community property with right of survivorship.  The bill would establish priorities for creditor claims against the owner and the beneficiary of the deed in connection with the property transferred and limits on the liability of the beneficiary.  The bill would establish a process for contesting the transfer of real property by a revocable TOD deed.  The bill would require the California Law Revision Commission to study and make recommendations regarding the revocable TOD deed to the Legislature by January 1, 2017.  This bill would specify that a person who feloniously and intentionally kills a decedent is not entitled generally to property and interests that are transferred outside of probate, including real property transferred by a revocable TOD deed.  Existing law establishes simplified procedures for dealing with a decedent's estate valued under $100,000, including authorizing the successor of the decedent to collect and distribute property due the decedent without letters of administration or awaiting probate of a will.  Existing law provides that a beneficiary who receives real or personal property under these circumstances, as specified, may be liable to the estate if probate proceedings are subsequently commenced.  Existing law provides, in this context, that a spouse has liability for the debts of a deceased spouse if the decedent's property is in the control of the surviving spouse.  Existing law permits a court judgment to enforce liability in these instances only to the extent necessary to protect the heirs, devisees, and creditors of the decedent.  This bill would delete the reference to court judgment and provide instead that the personal representative of the estate is permitted to enforce liability only to the extent necessary to protect the heirs, devisees, and creditors of the decedent.

AB 711 (Lara): This bill would provide that an owner-occupied single-family dwelling means a single-family dwelling that is the owner's principal place of residence and that qualifies for a homeowners' property tax exemption.

AB 771 (Butler): The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act requires an owner of a separate interest in a common interest development to provide specified documents to a prospective purchaser of that interest.  Existing law requires a homeowners' association to provide these documents to the owner of the separate interest within 10 days of the mailing or delivery of the request and limits the amount of fees charged for the provision of the documents to the association's actual costs to procure, prepare, and reproduce the requested documents.  This bill would provide that the timeframe for the provision of, and the limitation of the amount of fees charged for, the specified documents also apply to an agent, as defined, of the association that provides the documents to an owner of a separate interest in a common interest development.  This bill would also require an association or an agent of the association to provide a written estimate of the fees that will be assessed for the provision of the specified documents.

AB 793 (Eng): This bill would prohibit an insurer, broker, agent, or others engaged in the transaction of insurance, except as provided, from participating in, being associated with, or employing any party that participates in or is associated with, the origination of a reverse mortgage, or referring a client or prospective client to any party that participates in or is associated with the origination of a reverse mortgage.

AB 805 (Torres): This bill, on and after January 1, 2014, would comprehensively reorganize and recodify the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act.  The bill would also revise and recast provisions regarding notices and their delivery, standardize terminology, establish guidelines on the relative authority of governing documents, and establish a single procedure for amendment of a common interest declaration.  The bill would guarantee the right of an owner of a separate interest to make changes in that separate interest, as specified, in a common interest development other than a condominium project, in which that right currently exists.  The bill would establish an express list of conflicts of interest that may disqualify members of a board of directors of an association that manages a common interest development from voting on certain matters.  The bill would also, among other things, revise provisions related to elections and voting, establish standards for the retention of records, and broaden the requirement that liens recorded by the association in error be released.

AB 806 (Torres): Spot bill relative to common interest developments.

AB 820 (Gordon): Existing law requires the assessor, tax collector, and auditor to charge and collect a $1 fee for preparing specified documents, including, among others, a certificate of payment showing taxes paid.  This bill would instead require the assessor, tax collector, or auditor to charge and collect a fee to cover the actual and reasonable costs incurred by the assessor, tax collector, or auditor to prepare a certificate of payment showing taxes paid.  This bill would require the board of supervisors of the county to establish the fee subject to specified requirements.

AB 856 (Jeffries): The Personal Income Tax Law conforms to specified provisions of the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, relating to the exclusion of the discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness, as defined, from a taxpayer's income if that debt is discharged after January 1, 2007, and before January 1, 2010, as provided.  The federal Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended the operation of those provisions to debt that is discharged before January 1, 2013.  This bill would provide further conformity to those federal acts.

AB 935 (Blumenfield): Spot bill relative to country recorder fees.

AB 986 (Eng): Existing law requires the Commissioner of Corporations to submit a report, on or before January 1, 2014, to the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance and Insurance and the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance summarizing the utilization of the Pilot Program for Affordable Credit-Building Opportunities and including recommendations relative to the continuation of the program.  This bill would specify that the report is required to be submitted to the Senate Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions and the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance.

AB 1271 (Donnelly): Spot bill relative to property taxation.

AB 1321 (Wieckowski): This bill would require that mortgages and deeds of trust as well as assignments of a mortgage or a deed of trust be recorded within 30 days of the execution of the deed or other document creating a security interest in the real property or within 30 days of execution of the assignment.  The bill would further require that either the promissory note or a specified certificate affirming the existence of the promissory note be attached at the time of recordation.  This bill would prohibit the mortgagee, trustee, or beneficiary from recording a notice of default until 45 days after it has recorded the mortgage or deed of trust and any assignment of the mortgage and deed of trust.

SB 2 (Calderon): The Real Estate Law provides for the regulation and licensure of real estate brokers and real estate salespersons by the Real Estate Commissioner.  The California Finance Lenders Law provides for the regulation and licensure of finance lenders and brokers by the Commissioner of Corporations.  The California Residential Mortgage Lending Act provides for the regulation and licensure of residential mortgage lenders and servicers by the Commissioner of Corporations.  The Banking Law provides for the regulation of state commercial banks by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions.  The California Credit Union Law provides for the regulation of state credit unions by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions.  A willful violation of specified provisions of those acts is a crime.  This bill would extend those provisions until January 1, 2015, and to persons who facilitate or attempt to facilitate mortgage loan modifications or forbearance.  The bill would further extend those prohibitions to persons who for a fee negotiate, attempt to negotiate, arrange, attempt to arrange, facilitate, attempt to facilitate, or otherwise offer to accomplish the sale of a residential dwelling for less than the remaining amount of indebtedness due to a mortgagor, mortgagors, trustor, or trustors at the time of sale.  The bill would make conforming changes to the 14-point bold type statement that is required to be provided to a borrower.

SB 4 (Calderon): This bill would require, beginning April 1, 2012, that the notice of sale, given pursuant to a deed of trust or mortgage secured by real property containing from one to 4 single-family residences, contain language notifying potential bidders of specified risks involved in bidding on property at a trustee's sale, and a notice to the property owner informing the owner about how to obtain information regarding any postponement of the sale.  The bill would require a good faith effort to be made to provide current information regarding sale dates and postponements and that the information be available free of charge. The bill would permit the information to be provided by any means that provides continuous access.

SB 6 (Calderon): Existing law, the Real Estate Law, provides for the licensure and regulation of real estate brokers and real estate salespersons by the Real Estate Commissioner and makes a willful violation of the act a crime.  Existing law authorizes the commissioner to temporarily suspend or permanently revoke a real estate license when the licensee has been guilty of generating an inaccurate opinion of the value of residential real property in connection with a certain real estate transaction in order to, among other things, acquire a financial or business advantage that directly results from the inaccurate opinion of value.  This bill would prohibit a licensee from providing an opinion of value of real property if his or her compensation is dependent on or affected by that opinion of value or if he or she has any interest in the property or transaction.  The bill would also prohibit a licensee who offers or provides these opinions, for compensation or in expectation of compensation, from knowingly or intentionally misrepresenting the value of real property.  This bill would prohibit an appraisal management company from improperly influencing any appraisal through coercion, extortion, inducement, collusion, bribery, intimidation, compensation, or instruction.  The bill would specifically prohibit certain acts, including, but not limited to, seeking to influence an appraiser to report a minimum or maximum value for specified property, implying to an appraiser that their retention depends on their estimate of the real property value, excluding an appraiser from future engagement because they reported a value that does not meet or exceed a certain threshold, and conditioning compensation paid to an appraiser on consummation of the real estate transaction.  The bill would also prohibit a person or entity preparing an appraisal or performing appraisal management functions for certain mortgage loan transactions from having a specified interest in the property or the transaction for which the appraisal or functions are performed.  Existing law prohibits a person with an interest in a real estate transaction involving an appraisal from improperly influencing or attempting to improperly influence, through coercion, extortion, or bribery, the development, reporting, result, or review of a real estate appraisal sought in connection with a mortgage loan, and specifies that a violation of this provision by a person licensed under a state licensing law also constitutes a violation of that law.  This bill would instead make that provision applicable to a valuation and would define a valuation as an estimate of the value of real property in written or electronic form, other than one produced solely by an automated model or system.  The bill would also enumerate specified prohibited acts under that provision, including, but not limited to, seeking to influence a valuation preparer to report a minimum or maximum value for specified property, implying to a valuation preparer that their retention depends on their estimate of the real property value, excluding a valuation preparer from future engagement because they reported a value that does not meet or exceed a certain threshold, and conditioning compensation paid to a valuation preparer on consummation of the real estate transaction.

SB 53 (Calderon): This bill would authorize the Real Estate Commissioner to issue citations to unlicensed persons the commissioner believes to be engaging in activities for which a real estate license is required or to licensees who are in violation of any provision of the Real Estate Law or any rule or order thereunder.  The bill would authorize citations to include an order to correct the violation, to desist and refrain from engaging in a specific business activity, or to suspend all business operations.  The bill would authorize citations to include an administrative penalty of up to $2,500.  The bill would require any fines collected pursuant to these provisions to be credited to the Recovery Account and made available upon appropriation by the Legislature.

SB 150 (Correa): Spot bill relative to property transfers of residential property.

SB 284 (Harman): This bill would provide, absent a conveyance, contract, or other instrument giving notice of the exercise or extension of an option, that if the expiration date of the option is ascertainable from the recorded instrument, the option expires 6 months after that expiration date.  The bill would further provide that if the expiration date of the option is not ascertainable from the recorded instrument, or the recorded instrument indicates that the option provides no expiration date, the option expires 6 months after the date the instrument that creates or gives constructive notice of the option is recorded.

SB 412 (Vargas): Spot bill relative to mortgages.

SB 426 (Calderon): Spot bill relative to tenancy and eviction notices.

SB 435 (Harman): Existing state and federal law regulate the terms and conditions of mortgages and deeds of trust.  Upon the failure to satisfy specified terms of these obligations, existing state law requires that a notice of default be sent to a mortgagor or trustor indicating the property securing the loans may be foreclosed upon and that he or she has the right to cure the default and bring the account into good standing.  Existing law requires this notice to include a statement indicating the name, address, and telephone number of the beneficiary or mortgagee for the purpose of finding out the amount that is due.  This bill would also permit the notice to reference the authorized agent of the beneficiary or mortgagee on the notice described above.

SB 458 (Corbett): This bill would provide that a loan used to pay all or part of the purchase price of real property or an estate for years includes a subsequent loan, mortgage, or deed of trust that refinances or modifies the original loan, but only to the extent that the subsequent loan, mortgage, or deed of trust was acquisition indebtedness.

SB 507 (DeSaulnier): This bill would require a change in ownership statement that is filed with the assessor through the United States mail to be deemed filed with the assessor on either the date of postmark affixed by the United States Postal service, or on the date certified by a bona fide private courier service, on the envelope containing the statement.  This bill would remove the $2,500 cap on the penalty for nonwillful failures to file a change in ownership statement and would instead provide a $5,000 cap on the penalty for failure to file a change in ownership statement on property that is eligible for the homeowners' property tax exemption or a $20,000 cap if the property is not eligible for the homeowners' exemption.  This bill would extend, from 45 days to 90 days, the time period for filing a change in ownership statement if requested to do so by the assessor.  This bill would also specify to which addresses the assessor may mail this request or a notice of a penalty.  Existing law requires a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or other legal entity to file a change in ownership statement within 45 days from the date of the change in control or the change in ownership, or within 45 days from the date of a written request by the State Board of Equalization.  Existing law requires a penalty to be imposed if the person or legal entity required to file a change in ownership statement fails to do so within 45 days from the date of a written request by the State Board of Equalization.  This bill would require this penalty to be automatically extinguished if the person or legal entity files a complete change in ownership statement no later than 90 days after the date on which the person or legal entity is notified of the penalty.

SB 559 (Padilla): The Unruh Civil Rights Act generally prohibits business establishments from discriminating on specified bases.  This bill would further prohibit discrimination under the above-described provisions on the basis of genetic information, would define that term, and would making conforming changes.

SB 706 (Price): Spot bill relative to real estate.

SB 708 (Corbett): This bill would enact the Debt Settlement Consumer Protection Act and provide for the licensure and regulation by the commissioner of debt settlement providers, defined as persons or entities engaging in, or holding themselves out as engaging in, the business of providing debt settlement services, as defined, in exchange for any fee or compensation.  The bill would establish criteria for issuance by the commissioner of a license to engage in debt settlement services, would require an application for licensure to be submitted under penalty of perjury, would require a license to be renewed biennially, and would require specified fees to be paid for a license.  The bill would prohibit a debt settlement provider from entering into an agreement with a consumer for debt settlement services unless the provider retains on file a written determination, and provides a copy to the consumer, that includes an analysis indicating that the debt settlement program is suitable for the consumer and that the consumer can reasonably expect to receive a tangible net benefit from the program.  The bill would require specified disclosures from a provider to the consumer before entering into an agreement for debt settlement services.  The bill would require a consumer entering into a debt settlement services agreement to sign and date a specified consumer notice and rights form.  The bill would specify required contents of debt settlement services agreements and would provide that a consumer has a right to terminate an agreement at any time through oral, written, or electronic notice to a provider.  The bill would prohibit a provider from engaging in specified practices and would regulate the fees and charges imposed by a provider.

SB 729 (Leno): This bill would prohibit a mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent from recording a notice of default unless that party makes reasonable and good faith efforts to evaluate the borrower for all available loss mitigation options to avoid foreclosure.  The bill would prohibit a mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent from recording a notice of default on residential mortgages and deeds of trust, as defined, until various notice requirements and other requirements regarding loan modifications are fulfilled.  The bill would include among these requirements informing the borrower of the deadline for applying for a loan modification, which would be prohibited from being earlier than a specified date.  The bill would prohibit a mortgagee, trustee, or beneficiary from recording a notice of default on a residential mortgage or deed of trust if a borrower who is eligible for a loan modification submits an application, as specified, unless the mortgagee, trustee, or beneficiary has, in good faith, reviewed the application, rendered a decision on the application, and sent the borrower a denial explanation letter.  The bill would provide a process for reviewing a mortgage loan modification application, which would depend, in part, on whether the lender is participating in the federal Making Home Affordable Modification Program.  The bill would exempt certain borrowers from these requirements.  The bill would require that a borrower who initiates an application for a loan modification according to the procedures of the mortgagee, beneficiary, or authorized agent, and who is denied a loan modification, to receive a denial explanation letter stating the reason or reasons for the denial.

SB 820 (Walters): Spot bill relative to mortgage lending.

SB 837 (Blakeslee): Existing law requires that a transferor of real property improved with one to 4 dwellings provide disclosures regarding certain characteristics of the property by means of a prescribed form.  Existing law requires that, on or before January 1, 2017, a single-family residential property be equipped with water-conserving plumbing fixtures, as defined.  This bill would revise the form described above to require that a transferor of real property, as described above, disclose whether or not the property is equipped with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.

SB 839 (Blakeslee): Spot bill relative to finance lenders.

SB 873 (Padilla): Spot bill relative to property taxation.

SB 874 (Hancock): Spot bill relative to property taxation.