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Bill Seeks to Reduce Liability for Disability Violations

Senate Bill 251, approved by the state Legislature last week, would give businesses that pay for a Certified Access Specialist inspection a 120-day window to remedy construction-related disability violations without being liable for minimum statutory damages. Proponents, which include more than 40 chambers of commerce and hotel associations, say the bill promotes compliance over damage…

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Bill Would Increase Access To Special Needs Trusts

Legislation approved by the U.S. Senate this week may soon make it easier for people with disabilities to save money. The bill known as the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act would allow individuals with disabilities to establish a special needs trust for themselves. Under current law, such trusts must be created by a parent, grandparent,…

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Katherine Porter’s California Monitor Report – A Review of HBOR Legislation

On September 30, 2014, Katherine Porter, a UCI Professor who also serves as the California Monitor overseeing the HBOR legislation, released her highly anticipated report aconcerning the HBOR legislation.  In her report, Ms. Porter concludes that mortgage servicing has improved because of the National Mortgage Settlement, but lawmakers must look at reforming their own approaches to…

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Judge Permits Plaintiffs to Seek Punitive Damages Against Wells Fargo

Bergman has been prosecuting a loan modification negligence and breach of contract case against Wells Fargo for its deceptive practices in reviewing and negotiating a loan modification.  This case has been in litigation since April 2012 and new evidence obtained in discovery has led to the plaintiffs amending their complaint to add a cause of…

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Shapiro v. SPS – Judge Gets It Right in Ruling on CA HBOR

In ruling on Sage Point Lender Service’s (“SPS”) motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint, the judge inShapiro v. SPS delievered a swift blow to an argument many servicers make in an attempt to dodge the plain language and purpose of the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (“HBOR”).  Under the HBOR, a servicer cannot “dual track”…

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Rufini v. CitiMortgage – Appellate Court Finds Citimortgage May Be Liable For Denying Loan Modification With Bogus Excuse

Rufini v. CitiMortgage Inc. is yet another example of how California appellate courts are not letting bank servicers get away with loan modification misrepresentations and deceptive practices. In Rufini, the plaintiff homeowner entered into a trial loan modification agreement with Citimortgage and timely made all trial modification payments.  Citimortgage advised him that the loan modification…

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Mahoney v. Bank of America – Case Proceeds Against Bank of America For Failing to Provide Reinstatement Information

In Mahoney v. Bank of America, No. 13-CV-2530 W(JMA), decided on May 27, 2014, a federal court judge refused to dismiss causes of action for negligence, breach of contract, and specific performance against Bank of America and Nationstar.  The homeowner plaintiffs filed the suit after Bank of America bungled their loan modification application, accepted $50k…

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Default Mode: How Ocwen Skirts California’s Mortgage Laws

  Capital and Main  | by  David Dayen.  The following story was reported by Capital and Main and published here in collaboration with The Huffington Post. Lost documents. Incomplete and confusing information. Mysterious fees. Payments received but not applied. Homeowners waiting for a loan modification and suddenly placed in foreclosure. A nightmare of uncertainty, frustration and fear. These incidents,…

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