Tuesday, September 6, 2011

News From The Granola State

With a h/t to Bayou Renaissance Man who links to an article about an initiative some group is trying to get onto the state's ballots in time for the 2012 elections. 

From the source in Business Law Daily,
California could ban lender-initiated home foreclosures, under a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution that would make home ownership a fundamental right.
Wait.  Whut???
The Foreclosure Modification Act, a proposed citizen’s initiative, would ban mortgagees from foreclosing on owner-occupied dwellings in the Golden State. It would further require banks and other lenders to help mortgage borrowers struggling amid financial hardship or illness.

Additionally, lenders would be required to reduce loan principal amounts to reflect a drop in local property values of at least 10 percent. Payments would be adjusted without a new credit review, the proposal states.
Well, that's perfect!  Home ownership is a fundamental right - not just a place to live like the glorious soviet apartment buildings: home ownership.  What could possibly go wrong here? 

I mean aside from everything. 

No company would ever offer a mortgage for sale in California again.  Why would they, if there's almost an ironclad guarantee they'll lose money?  If there's no possibility of being kicked out of your home, and if the bank has to throw away money and re-finance you, why even pay the mortgage?  How could this possibly result in any positive outcome?  Wait.  I know.  It's the unicorns (for Sept. 3).

You should go read the whole thing


  1. Indiana recently amended the state constitution to alow for property tax. Now I am a tenent. Property assessment can not be chalenged. Increases can be levied by the state, county, or township.

  2. You never had property tax before? I'm having a hard time with that concept.

    We don't have a state income tax, which may be the same sort of foreign concept for you, so all state revenue is sales and property tax. Property tax is one of the problems with that California proposal:

    "Adjusting loan amounts would cost local governments billions of dollars in lost revenue from property taxes and other assessments, DOJ noted.

    Potential state costs are “up to the low billions of dollars annually” because constitutional provisions require the treasury to replace the loss of property tax revenue to cities and counties."

    Any way they can, they extract their pound of flesh.

  3. Nothing out of CA surprises me. Last one out turn out the lights.

  4. Absurd as it is, it really has no legs ("No State shall... pass any... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts"). It certainly serves as a marker on the sad state of affairs in our society.

  5. “There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.
    And then there is California.”
    - Edward Abbey

  6. Xenocles, I'm with you except for one thing. Remember the congresscritter (Conyers? for one) saying, "most of what we do up here is unconstitutional"? They don't care if it's unconstitutional: all they need is one more vote in the 9th circus court to rule in their favor, or one more vote in the Supremes. They'll make us pay to defend the constitution.

    And Tango Juliet - they won't need to turn out the lights. The lights will be going out on their own.

    BobG - pick up your free Internetz in the lobby on your way out - you win it for today.

  7. Being a resident of the great PRC (Peoples Republic of California) I've refrained from investing in residential rental real estate. I've seen what the regulators have done to property rights.

    This is just a(n) (il)logical extension of that mentality.

    Nothing new here, move along.