cityhall3.jpgThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling on banks to halt foreclosure activities.

Supervisor John Avalos introduced the resolution last month calling for a moratorium on home foreclosures and related evictions and auctions.

“The foreclosure crisis has already devastated so many lives,” Avalos said in a statement issued after the resolution’s victory. “This resolution is an important step to support solutions to prevent millions of Americans from losing their homes.”

The resolution aims to protect homeowners from unlawful foreclosures until state and federal protections are developed.

According to an audit commissioned by San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting on nearly 400 San Francisco foreclosures over the past three years, 84 percent of those forecloses were incorrect or illegal.

Many San Franciscans who can afford to stay in their homes now find that they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are actually worth, a situation referred to as being “under water.”

Avalos said that he, like many homeowners in his community, is approximately $100,000 under water on his mortgage.

The resolution urges the mayor to direct city lobbyists to support the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, several bills that would protect Californians against predatory lending practices and against robo-signing–the practice of signing large numbers of documents without verifying their information, and other bank servicing and foreclosure misconduct.

Last month, state Attorney General Kamala Harris was among 49 state attorneys general supporting a $25 billion agreement reached between the nation’s five largest lenders, the federal government and the states.

The joint agreement, which aims to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses, is the largest federal-state civil settlement ever reached, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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