New Law Protects Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

May 6th, 2011

By Wendy Osher

Notice to foreclose, graphic by Wendy Osher. 

Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law yesterday that’s designed to help homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.  Senate Bill 651 implements a strategy to reform the mortgage foreclosure process.

The Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program seeks to provide the owner-occupants of residential property in Hawai’i who are facing foreclosure the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the mortgagees to possibly resolve their differences.

Under the new law, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will administer the program, which is expected to start no later than October 1, 2011 and continue until September 30, 2014.

This measure brings the number of bills enacted to 49.  He has until July 12, 2011 to sign, veto, or let bills pass without his signature.

The Governor also vetoed two bills yesterday citing concerns over road safety and legal issues.

SB 1416 would have exempted a new car owner from obtaining an inspection certificate for three years from the date of purchase, instead of the current two year exemption. Governor Abercrombie said the measure would have compromised road safety.

Citing legal concerns, the governor vetoed HB 382, which would have granted the State Auditor explicit authority to inspect confidential documents and financial affairs – including private personal information in tax returns – of the Department of Taxation.

*** Supporting information courtesy Office of the Governor, State of Hawai’i.