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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 10:16 am | Fair 54º


Nava Supports Legislative Real Estate Report

Assemblyman's bills also deal with banking and mortgage industries

Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, Chair of the Assembly Banking & Finance Committee On Tuesday applauded the recently released Legislative Analyst’s Report regarding the California Department of Real Estate (DRE).

“This report provides a clear picture of the need for increased enforcement of the real estate law to protect consumers,” said Nava. “With almost a half a million real estate agents and brokers operating in California, we must ensure that our regulators are exercising their power and authority to the fullest extent possible. While this report raises many concerns, I am confident that my legislative package will address many, if not all, of the issues outlined.”

The Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report on Tuesday titled Department of Real Estate: Opportunities to Improve Consumer Protection. The report provides detail regarding several consumer protection issues relating to DRE, and makes several recommendations, including tightening educational requirements, strengthening enforcement of real estate law, increasing department accountability, updating consumer education materials and expanding access and oversight of the real estate recovery account.

Assemblyman Nava this year has a package of bills which are now working their way through the Legislature to clean up the real estate, banking and mortgage industries and provide greater consumer protections and oversight.

California Banking Regulation Act

The California Banking Regulation Act (Assembly Bill 33) would combine the Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Corporations and Department of Real Estate into the California Department of Financial Services. Currently, three different agencies regulate banking activity in the state. Combining those agencies would provide clarity for licensees and increased consumer protections.

The California Banking Regulation Act will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

California SAFE Act

The California SAFE Act (A.B. 34) would implement the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE), which would require all mortgage loan originators to be individually licensed, to register with a national database and to submit to criminal history background checks. The Act would provide enhanced consumer protections by ensuring that all loan originators follow the same licensing standards and requirements. Registration with a national database would also ensure that loan originators who commit fraud in another state are not able to become licensed in California.

The California SAFE Act will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Homeowner Fraud Prevention Act

The Homeowner Fraud Prevention Act (A.B. 764) would ban false and misleading advertising by individuals and companies that offer loan modification services. It would also ban the collection of all advance fees for modifying a loan while providing a fair balance for highly regulated licensed real estate brokers to collect a fee for work completed. Fines for violations of the Act would be $20,000 for an individual and $60,000 for a corporation.

The Homeowner Fraud Prevention Act will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

— John Mann is a spokesman for Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara.


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