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March 28, 2013: National Housing Law Project to Lead Statewide Homeowner Bill of Rights Implementation Project

March 28, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kent Qian, 415-546-7000 x3112, kqian@nhlp.org

National Housing Law Project to Lead Statewide Homeowner Bill of Rights Implementation Project

San Francisco-based housing advocacy center, the National Housing Law Project (NHLP), and its project partners, Western Center on Law & Poverty, the National Consumer Law Center, and Tenants Together (the HBOR Collaborative), have been awarded a $1 million grant from the California Office of the Attorney General. The grant will help implement the state’s new Homeowner Bill of Rights, which establishes protections for homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure.

Members of the Collaborative have been working on behalf of homeowners and tenants throughout the foreclosure crisis. This new grant, for which the California Attorney General received funds from the National Mortgage Settlement between 49 state attorney generals, the federal government and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, will expand activities to crack down on improper foreclosures, ensure fair lending and borrowing practices for homeowners and enforce new protections for tenants.

Attorney General Kamala Harris sponsored the Homeowner Bill of Rights to overhaul California’s foreclosure and mortgage servicing laws and expand upon the National Mortgage Settlement by allowing individual borrowers to directly enforce their rights in court. The bundle of new protections also offers new tenant protections for tenant households affected by foreclosure, an estimated 40% of all households affected by foreclosures. The California Homeowner Bill of Rights became law on January 1, 2013.

The HBOR Collaborative will offer a package of free support services to consumer attorneys statewide in order to equip them to uphold homeowners’ and tenants’ rights under the new HBOR laws. Services will include outreach, education, advocacy, technical assistance, and litigation support. The Collaborative will also develop internet webinars, live trainings in areas throughout California, and specific aids to consumer attorneys including a HBOR website and library of litigation resources.

The National Housing Law Project will serve as the lead organization. Established in 1968, NHLP 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.

Consumer attorneys and legal aid professionals with clients affected by foreclosure and who want to learn more about HBOR and the upcoming statewide training series should contact the National Housing Law Project at 415-546-7000, Ext. 3112 or kqian@nhlp.org.

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