Talk about too little, too late. Assembly Democrats are proposing legislation that would help homeowners avoid foreclosures and toughen enforcement against predatory lending practices. Word of the legislation, which will be introduced in January, comes after Gov. Arnold announced an agreement with four major lenders to allow people at risk of defaulting to continue paying low introductory interest rates. "Our message is that lenders are willing to work with borrowers on finding a solution. But right now we are seeing homeowners who are afraid to even talk with lenders," Schwarzenegger said. All that is nice and nifty, but where were these folks two or three years ago, when the subprime mess was clearly getting out of hand? Tighter enforcement of those predatory lenders would have helped ease much of the pain now being felt. Oh, well. From the LAT:
California lenders filed a record 72,571 "notices of default" on borrowers in the third quarter of this year, a figure 18% higher than the previous record set in 1996, according to DataQuick Information Services, which tracks real estate transactions. What's more, the Congressional Joint Economic Committee estimated in October that an additional 200,000 homes in California would go into foreclosure through the end of 2008.