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Governor signs foreclosure reform bill

By Staff | May 12, 2011

Senators and representatives gathered to witness Gov. Neil Abercrombie sign Senate Bill 651 into law last week Thursday. Photo courtesy of Senate Communications.

HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie last week signed Senate Bill 651 into law. The measure is the state’s response to the foreclosure issue facing many Hawaii families.

The bill aims to reform the foreclosure process by implementing additional protections to individuals facing foreclosure or at-risk of foreclosure.

Among other facets, the measure establishes a temporary mortgage foreclosure dispute resolution program and authorizes conversion from nonjudicial to judicial foreclosure.

“We’re giving a time out to our consumers so that they can wait for the provisions of this measure to kick in. When it becomes law, they will have the opportunity to convert to a judicial foreclosure or, beginning October 1, they can go through the dispute resolution process,” said Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Chair Roz Baker of West Maui.

“In addition, no new nonjudicial foreclosures can commence once the bill is signed.”

“This may very well be landmark legislation and something other states can emulate, because it is very comprehensive, pro-consumer foreclosure reform,” she added.

“This is a wonderful way legislation should be crafted. It was truly a collaborative effort with House Consumer Protection and Commerce Chair Rob Herkes and his staff, FACE (Faith Action for Community Equity) Hawaii, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Judiciary, the Senate and other organizations who helped craft this bill. Mahalo to Governor Abercrombie for his expeditious action to sign SB 651 as Act 48.”

For more information on Act 48, visit http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=651.