SB 306 – Effective January 1, 2010: Establishes time frames related to short sales and foreclosures.

This law has been falsely reported as requiring short sale lenders to respond to a short sale within 21 days. That is not what this law is about. This is what it does provide:

1. Requires short sale lenders to respond within 21 days to short sale payoff demands submitted by escrow after short sale has been approved. That is the same time period as any other lender. The law just makes clear that the short sale must be approved before the demand is submitted.

2. Specifies that if lender approves short sale subject to receiving a closing statement that once the closing statement is submitted the lender has four days to respond or it is deemed approved provided it is consistent with the short sale demand statement submitted by the lender.

3. Expands the requirement for the lender to contact the borrower to work out foreclosure avoidance 30 days prior to filing NOD from SFR owner occupied only to 1 to 4 unit owner occupied dwellings.

4. Requires the notice of sale to be recorded in addition to being mailed at least 20 days before the date set for sale. Previous law only required recording 14 days before.

SB 120 – Effective January 1, 2010: Tenant May Pay Utilities if Landlord Delinquent
Requires certain utility companies to notify residential tenants of landlord’s past due accounts and upcoming shutoffs, and allows tenants to begin service in their own names and deduct payment from rent.

AB 457 – Effective January 1, 2010: Mechanic’s Lien Revisions
Provides new procedures, including service of a Notice of Mechanic’s Lien to the owner and mandatory recording of a lis pendens when enforcing a mechanic’s lien.

AB 1020 – Effective January 1, 2010: Swimming Pool Reports
Requires anti-entrapment devices for owners of apartment buildings, condominium complexes, and others, including the filing of compliance statements. It also precludes the establishment of local health and safety ordinances related to public swimming pools.

AB 1046 – Effective January 1, 2010: Increase in Homestead Exemptions

Coming into effect on January 1, 2010, the homestead exemption protecting a homeowner’s equity from judgment creditors has been increased by $25,000 across the board to $75,000 for individuals, $100,000 for married couples or family units as specified, and $175,000 for persons over 65 years, disabled, or over 55 years with limited income as specified.

AB 1061 – Effective January 1, 2010: HOA Landscaping Restrictions Limited
Renders unenforceable any HOA provision prohibiting landscaping with water-efficient plants in common interest developments.

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