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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces $1 Million Grant to Benefit California Homeowners

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Contact: (415) 703-5837

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced a $1 million California Homeowner Bill of Rights implementation grant to The National Housing Law Project.

“Californians were hit hard by the mortgage crisis and many people are still struggling to stay in their homes,” Attorney General Harris said. “The California Homeowner Bill of Rights gives borrowers more opportunities to stay in their homes, and this grant will help make sure the law is applied across the state and that everyone gets the protection they are entitled to.”

The California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) is a set of landmark laws that extend key mortgage and foreclosure protections to California homeowners and borrowers. The laws, which took effect at the beginning of this year, restrict dual-track foreclosures, guarantee struggling homeowners a reliable point of contact at their lender, impose civil penalties on fraudulently signed mortgage documents and require loan servicers to document their right to foreclose.

This grant will maximize consumer benefits from the HBOR, while minimizing abuses of the law by providing training to California consumer and housing attorneys from both private and non-profit firms.

The National Housing Law Project will partner with Western Center on Law and Poverty, National Consumer Law Center and Tenants Together to implement this grant.

The National Housing Law Project and its partners will use the grant to:

  • Provide high-quality, on-site trainings and webinars to consumer and housing attorneys on how to maximize the HBOR’s protections.
  • Train more than 800 lawyers.
  • Provide support in cases that raise important legal issues or have potential for broad impact.
  • Create a library of litigation materials to help attorneys maximize the HBOR’s benefits.
  • Produce a report that analyzes the HBOR’s statewide impact and identifies compliance problems.

Funds provided through this grant were secured by Attorney General Harris through the $18 billion National Mortgage Settlement.

Established in 1968, The National Housing Law Project seeks to advance housing justice by advocating for affordable housing, litigating to uphold homeowners’ and tenants’ rights and offering technical assistance to legal aid attorneys who work with low-income families.

The State Bar has partnered with the Attorney General’s Office to administer the grant and monitor compliance. The National Housing Law Project will provide quarterly financial and program reports to the State Bar and the Attorney General’s Office.

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