California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill authored by the Democrat-controlled legislature that voids a court order mandating the repayment of $331 million to a special fund
created to help victims of foreclosure abuse during the mortgage crisis.
The Associated Press reports
that California received $410 million in the 2012 mortgage settlement between the states and the nation’s major mortgage companies. However, the state legislature passed a law to divert that money into paying off the deficits of agencies responsible for state housing bonds and consumer programs. Three non-profits sued California in 2014, and a state appeals court in Sacramento ruled in July that the money should be spent on programs directly assisting foreclosed homeowners.
The new law includes a statement that the Department of Finance followed legislative guidelines in the allocation of the settlement funds, adding that legislators were "aware of, and approved, the allocations and expenditures in question." Faith Bautista, President of the National Asian American Coalition, one of the non-profits that sued the state, denounced the new law.
"I cannot believe the Democrats are stealing money from the homeowners," she said.