Report: Foreclosures cost Calif. tax payers $650B

Buying a foreclosed home can be complicated

March 16, 2011 7:12:05 PM PDT
A new report out today outlines the impact of California's foreclosure rate on the economy. The report put out by the Home Defenders League says foreclosures costs California taxpayers $650 billion in lost property tax revenues, decreased property values and increased costs to government services.

The group is supporting three bills introduced in the state legislature today that would charge banks a fee for every home foreclosed, require that banks complete the modification process before beginning foreclosure proceedings and mandate full disclosure about which entity owns a mortgage.

"We don't accept the notion that people are losing their homes because there's nothing else can be done. We know there is more that can be done. We know there's more that should be done," Kevin Stein from the California Reinvestment Coalition said.

About 50 protestors marched to Chase Bank in San Francisco's Civic Center today in support of the measures. ABC7 was the only news crew on hand when the demonstrators marched inside the bank to deliver a letter demanding greater accountability from the bank.

"Over 1.2 million Californians have lost their homes due to foreclosure. It's a massive wealth loss for the people of California," Alyabeth Alexander from SEIU Local 1021said.

San Francisco Assessor Phil Ting is sponsoring that legislation.

"It's a real common sense bill. Right now when people get a loan, they actually have no idea who actually owns that loan which makes it difficult for them to get modification," he said.

The California Bankers Association says its member banks, which include Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, do all they can to modify mortgages and said the bills would only delay the inevitable foreclosure for people who can't afford their homes.

The protestors say the high foreclosure rate speaks for itself and the banks need to be held accountable for their actions. The protestors left the bank peacefully and without any arrests