The Building Homes and Jobs Act, also known as Senate Bill 2 (Atkins) became effective on Jan. 1 and will impact consumers who refinance their homes.
Although the Department of Consumer Affairs’ California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) monitored the bill prior to it becoming law, the program falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). However, CalBRE has provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions consumers have regarding SB 2. They include the following:
- What will the Act do and how does it affect California consumers?
The Building Homes and Jobs Act creates a fund, the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund, that will be used to generate new housing opportunities in California. HCD and CalHFA are developing programs for managing that money. Initially, the fund will target issues relating to local land-use planning and addressing homelessness. After the first year, the money will be available to local governments to fund a variety of housing activities, depending on the needs of the community and the state government for farm worker housing, state incentive programs, and facilitating mixed-income multifamily housing developments affordable for Californians with lower and moderate incomes.
- Are all consumers who refinance their homes required to pay a $75 fee? Are there other fees consumers will be liable for?
Yes, they are required to pay the $75 fee. Depending on what the consumer is seeking to accomplish, more than one document may need to be recorded. Consumers should consult their licensed mortgage professional about this, or ask their county’s recorder for information about the number of documents that need to be recorded for the planned transaction.
- How much revenue is the fee likely to bring into California?
Analysts working for the Legislature estimated that the annual revenue to the Trust Fund will be $200 million to $250 million, depending on the volume of recorded documents. Ultimately, this money is intended to mitigate the state’s issues with lack of housing stock, particularly for Californians with lower to middle incomes.
- Who should consumers contact if they have additional questions about SB 2?
Consumers with questions regarding the real estate transaction fees should contact their local county recorder. For additional information on the programs and activities funded by the Building Homes and Jobs Act, contact the Department of Housing and Community Development at CAHP@hcd.ca.gov or the California Housing Finance Agency at calhfa.ca.gov or call (877) 922-5432.
For information regarding real estate licensure, regulations, education and enforcement issues, contact the California Bureau of Real Estate at (877) 373-4542 or visit their website at www.dre.ca.gov.