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California adopts law on 'abusive' home lending
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — California has a new law to stop what Gov. Jerry Brown calls abusive home lending tactics.

The Democratic governor signed the law Wednesday at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

It makes the state the first to write into law much of the national mortgage settlement negotiated this year with the nation's top five banks, and expands it to all lenders.

It prohibits lenders from seizing a home while considering homeowner requests for alternatives to foreclosure. It also lets homeowners take legal action to stop foreclosures and seek monetary damages if a lender violates state law.

Lenders and legislative critics say the law does nothing to address the underlying problem: too many borrowers can't afford their house payments.

The law that takes effect Jan. 1 was opposed by most Republican legislators.