An Express Article from the California Land Title Association
Bulletin 11/12-79 - February 21, 2012
The maximum penalties for failing to file a change of ownership statement within 90 days after a written request is mailed by the assessor have gone up. The underlying penalties remain the same, the greater of one hundred dollars or 10 percent of the taxes application to the new base year value reflecting the change of ownership. However, starting with the first of the year, the cap on the maximum penalty for a non-willful failure to file has been raised from $2,500. The new penalize cap is $5,000 for residences eligible for a homeowners’ exception. The cap on properties not eligible for a homeowners’ exemption is now $20,000. The changes were made to section 480 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Francisco Assessor-Record Phil Ting wants legislation to require lenders or title companies to clear a property’s title before a foreclosure. The paper noted that similar legislation died in a legislative committee last year. The article follows an announcement by Ting that an audit performed in partnership with mortgage investigation firm Aequitas found that 84% of sampled foreclosures in San Francisco contained at least one clear violation of California’s foreclosure laws. Ting’s press release quotes him stating, “In the long run, it’s in the best interest of the homeowner, mortgage industry, securities investor and the community to have a clear chain of title. Legislation that modernizes existing regulations and oversight will allow for increased trust in the industry and ultimately help stabilize the housing market.”
CLTA continues to work closely with MERS, ALTA, and California lenders on this issue to make sure title companies will not be adversely affected.