CA – SB 1079

CA-SB 1079 – Homes for Homeowners, Not Corporations

What is CA-SB 1079?
SB 1079 modifies the foreclosure auction process in California to reduce the advantage big corporations had that allowed them to bulk-purchase many homes at a single auction. The new law gives owner-occupants, tenants, local governments, and housing nonprofits a level playing field to purchase such homes, helping retain owner-occupied homeownership. SB 1079 also authorizes higher fines that a local government can levy on corporations or other property owners that leave homes vacant or blighted, to incentivize refurbishing and renting or selling such homes. This new law sends a clear message to Corporate Investors… “Families will have a fair chance at homeownership, and our local governments will have new tools to stop blight.”

Giving Individuals a Fair Chance
Existing law, with regard to the exercise of a power of sale under a mortgage or deed of trust, requires the sale to be held in the county where the property or some part of it is situated and to be made at auction, to the highest bidder, as specified. Existing law generally requires that if the property consists of several lots or parcels, they are to be sold separately unless the deed of trust or mortgage provides otherwise.
This bill, until January 1, 2026, for purposes of the exercise of a power of sale as described above, would prohibit a trustee from bundling properties for the purpose of sale, instead requiring each property to be bid on separately, unless the deed of trust or mortgage provides otherwise. Previously, an auction of property at a foreclosure sale set the final price of the property and provided marketable title to the buyer of the property or the lender if the property reverted back at time of sale. This bill now creates a right of first refusal after a foreclosure sale, where a buyer can purchase the property from the winner of the foreclosure auction by offering to purchase for any amount greater than the final price at auction.

Notice of Foreclosure Awareness
SB 1079 also hopes to increase public awareness of foreclosure sales by requiring the lender or trustee to use a“good faith effort” to maintain up-to-date information regarding sales and possible postponements on a website for that property, as well as a telephone number, that provides accurate and specific information, 24/7, on that property.

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