Senate Bill 455 (Torlakson – 2003)
Chapter 74, Statutes of 2003, SB 455
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Only Civil Code sections 1695.7 and 1695.8 were amended in 2003 following legislative approval of Senate Bill 455. (See Exhibit #1c) This bill was introduced on February 20, 2003 by Senator Tom Torlakson following an incident that occurred in his Seventh Senatorial District. (See Exhibits #1a and #10, document PE-3)
Senate Bill 455 was assigned to both the Senate and Assembly Committees on Judiciary where policy issues raised by the bill were considered. (See Exhibits #3 and #7) One amendment was made to Senate Bill 455. (See Exhibits #1b) Subsequent to legislative approval, Governor Gray Davis signed Senate Bill 455 on July 21, 2003 and it was recorded by the Secretary of State on that day as Chapter 74 of the Statutes of 2003. (See Exhibits #1c and #2)
The Third Reading analysis of Senate Bill 455 as last amended that was produced by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses described this bill as follows:
DIGEST: This bill authorizes a court to award a civil penalty of up to $2,500 in civil lawsuits where a homeowner prevails against an equity purchaser for certain violations such as transferring property prior to the cooling off period, not following contract terms, fraud, or misleading or unconscionably taking advantage of a property owner. This bill also increases the maximum criminal fine from $10,000 to $25,000 for such violations.
(See Exhibit #5, page 1)