By now you know the story, a true hero in the fight for consumers, and a Senator who was sticking up for truth and for her constituents introduced a commonsense piece of legislation that would have provided some important and basic information for consumers, Arizona Senate Bill SB1259. I give this good senator much credit for seeing the issues involved and stepping into a major minefield for standing up and doing the right thing.
Unfortunately, her good work got crushed, snuffed out, whacked. But that’s the process, and certainly not her fault. Below is what purports to be a very personal and detailed explanation for what happened to this legislation. Now Senator Reagan is taking some heat for what happened here, but I ask….how many of the people that are giving her heat stood up and fought for her and for this bill? And if the banks and their lobbyists got to the other side, but no one stood up and supported this bill and senator Reagan isn’t that democracy? The rule is if you didn’t write a letter, you didn’t send an email, you didn’t become active in the process, it’s not fair for you to complain. I know the banks have money, they have staff, they have the access, but let me tell you something. If we organize, if we support someone like Senator Reagan with our time, our talent and the campaign checks we can muster, we will make a difference.
The point is where are all the Arizona people who should be standing up and supporting this bill and this Senator? The bill may be dead this session, but Senator Reagan deserves your support for trying. Please read the following explanation. I find she did her job, she tried and she deserves to be celebrated and supported for trying, not attacked because the system worked against her.
Please read the explanation, visit the Senator’s Website and Share Your Support.
I ran the bill in the hopes of providing transparency to homeowners. However, another troubling aspect about the lack of chain of title information is … what happens if someone sells their house to another person? The keys are handed over, but are you transferring the title as well?? When the lenders packaged and securitized these loans they separated the “notes” and the deeds of trust, violating over a 100 years of property law. The fact that nobody can prove chain of title right now is downright scary. And it is a big elephant in the room that has some property law attorneys dumbfounded. Title insurance may cover some of the future losses, but eventually title insurance will become insolvent. This is a problem that needs to be solved before it causes a future housing meltdown round #2. That being said, this was a very simple bill that would have required a homeowner to be given information. The Senators understood it. It passed 28-2. However, I was told the bill was DOA in the House before it even got out of the Senate. It was “double-assigned” meaning it had to pass two committees instead of just one. In addition, the Chair of the Banking and Insurance committee in the House did not like the bill and was not going to give it a hearing, meaning the bill was dead. By the way, it is completely within the right of any committee chair to kill a bill. Did I like that this happened to my bill – no. But, Rep. McClain did nothing ethically wrong.
In the meantime, there is a section in my district called Rio Verde where they need fire service and a compromise was finally agreed upon that was 6 years in the making. The deadline to introduce new bills had already passed, meaning they had to find a bill to use as a “striker”. SB 1259 was chosen because it was otherwise already dead. The lobbyists representing the Fire Districts and Rural Metro were able to salvage a dead bill and turn it into a bill to give some much needed relief to a part of my district. Basically we turned a bad situation into a positive. I guess no good deed goes unpunished 🙂
Sorry for the lengthy response. But I wanted to give you the whole story from start to finish.
Thanks again for your interest on SB 1259. The good news is that a very similar bill just passed in Arkansas and their Governor has already signed it into law. I will be watching this summer to see what happens once the Arkansas law goes into effect. I hope they are successful and it can be copied in other states. I attached the link below.
Senator Michele Reagan
Chair, Economic Development
Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Rio Verde