SACRAMENTO – Legislative Republicans recently called on Governor Gavin Newsom not to appeal a court ruling directing the state to provide $331 million to help financially distressed homeowners. The funding, obtained from a settlement agreement in a 2012 lawsuit over unfair lending practices, was intended to provide legal aid, foreclosure hotlines, consumer education and efforts to combat financial fraud. Instead, the state used the money to pay down unrelated government debt.
“The courts have spoken,” said Asm. Tyler Diep (R-Huntington Beach). “It’s long overdue and I urge the governor to finally provide relief to distressed homeowners now.”
The decision to divert the settlement money has been challenged in court, where the state has lost repeatedly. In the most recent ruling, California’s Third District Court of Appeal found that the Legislature acted improperly last summer when it retroactively approved the raid on the settlement fund.
“Legislative Republicans and I have been fighting for low-income and minority homeowners since 2015. Twice now, the courts have ruled this money should be used to help troubled homeowners. The majority party needs to step up and do the right thing,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield).
California currently has a record $21.4 billion budget surplus. The diverted funds from the mortgage settlement amount to just 1.5 percent of the state’s excess revenue.
A copy of the letter to Governor Newsom is available here.
Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove represents California’s 16th Senate District which encompasses large portions of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino counties and including the cities of Bakersfield, Barstow, California City, Exeter, Frazier Mountain, Joshua Tree, Mojave, Needles, Ridgecrest, Rosamond, Taft, Tehachapi, Twentynine Palms, Tulare, Visalia, Yucca Valley and portions of the Kern River Valley. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Assemblyman Tyler Diep represents the 72nd Assembly District, which includes Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Midway City, Rossmoor, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, and Westminster.