And the alcoholic bastard waved his finger at me

Those of you who have been coming here for a while know how much OTG loves to poke the Wine Dog. And truthfully, I love it when he does it because while it usually enrages me, it also makes me think. Here’s a little food for thought:


INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Galgiani

FEBRUARY 26, 2009

An act to add Article 1.8 (commencing with Section 1103.20) to
Chapter 2 of Title 4 of Part 4 of Division 2 of the Civil Code,
relating to real property.


AB 957, as introduced, Galgiani. Residential real estate
transfers: title insurance: escrow companies.
Existing law generally regulates the transfer of real property,
and imposes specified obligations on a seller of real property.
Existing law authorizes a mortgagee or beneficiary under a deed of
trust to sell property securing the mortgage or deed of trust at a
foreclosure sale under certain circumstances. Existing federal law
prohibits a seller of property that will be purchased with the
assistance of a federally related mortgage loan from requiring the
buyer to purchase insurance from any particular company.
This bill would enact the Buyer’s Choice Act, which would prohibit
a mortgagee, beneficiary under a deed of trust, or other person who
acquired title to residential real property at a foreclosure sale
from, as a condition of selling that real property to a buyer,
requiring the buyer to purchase title insurance or use escrow
services in connection with the sale from a company chosen by the
seller. The act would also prohibit such a seller from, without good
cause, disapproving the use of a title or escrow company chosen by a
buyer. A seller who violates these provisions would be liable to the
buyer for a specified civil penalty.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.


SECTION 1. Article 1.8 (commencing with Section 1103.20) is added
to Chapter 2 of Title 4 of Part 4 of Division 2 of the Civil Code, to

Article 1.8. Buyer’s Choice Act

1103.20. This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the
Buyer’s Choice Act.
1103.21. (a) A seller shall not, directly or indirectly, as a
condition of selling residential real property to a buyer, require
the buyer to purchase title insurance or use escrow services in
connection with the sale of that property from a company chosen by
the seller.
(b) A seller shall not, without good cause, disapprove the use of
a title or escrow company chosen by a buyer.
(c) A seller who violates subdivision (a) or (b) shall be liable
to the buyer for a civil penalty in an amount equal to 6 percent of
the sales price of the property.
(d) For purposes of this section, “seller” means a mortgagee,
beneficiary under a deed of trust, or other person who acquired title
to residential real property at a foreclosure sale.

Uh, isn’t this covered already by the Feds? Gosh, don’t they call this a RESPA violation? Isn’t this the same banks that have devastated our economy breaking more rules? Isn’t it time we said enough is enough? We give props to Cathleen Galgiani for seeing a webfooted, quacking water fowl and calling it what it is, but really how about enforcing what’s already on the books? (and doesn’t Assemblywoman Galgiani look like she should be representing the land of big hair Dallas?)

For the sake of reiteration, here is the CAR legal update on the subject as quoted in PBE last January 11, 2009:

No seller can require that the buyer purchase title insurance from any particular title insurance company. This rule pertains to transactions involving a federally-related mortgage loan for one-to-four residential units as defined under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (12 U.S.C. section 2608). Although this is a well-established rule under RESPA, it bears repeating given the recent upsurge in REO transactions.

REO transactions are not exempt from RESPA requirements. If an REO lender chooses the title insurance company, as is often the case, it cannot require directly or indirectly, as a condition to selling the property, that the buyer purchase the title insurance policy. An REO lender that violates this RESPA requirement can be, among other things, held liable to the buyer in the amount equal to three times all charges made for such title insurance. Moreover, anyone who believes that RESPA has been violated may file a complaint (and may request confidentiality) to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For more information about filing a RESPA complaint, go to

And in case you missed it, there was a comment that day from the brilliant Roger Thieren:

just want to clear up one thing. You quote a CAR Legal Update as saying: “No seller can require that the buyer purchase title insurance from any particular title insurance company.”
True. But in counties where the seller traditionally pays for the buyer’s title policy, that provision is inapplicable. If the seller pays for the buyer’s title policy, then the seller is not requiring that the buyer purchase title insurance from anyone. (By the way, I don’t have an ax to grind. I just want to be accurate.)

I didn’t miss it. In my book he’s one of the Gods of the Industry. So in the spirit of accuracy, here’s the direct quote from the RESPA website:

Section 9: Seller required title insurance
Section 9 of RESPA prohibits a seller from requiring the home buyer to use a particular title insurance company, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale. Buyers may sue a seller who violates this provision for an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance.

Assemblywoman Gaigiani, I appreciate your efforts but really, we just need to enforce what’s on the books and spend the money that would be spent writing a new law on enforcing the old one. Kind of like that SEC Bernie Madoff thing.

All the vampires walkin’ through the valley

I just read this on Twitter…yeah Twitter:

“How to keep warm ­during the credit crunch? Burn a banker.”

Too late.  Then for some reason my sleepy exhausted brain connected the dots.  Probably because when you say banker I think about my Uncle who was a banker.  And then it hit me, like a hot kiss on the end of the cold fist, his name was Bush.  The last time I was this worried about the economy and my personal station in life this much, we were picking up the pieces from another Bush Presidency.  This guy presided over the failure of the Savings and Loan industry.  Sound familiar?  And the economy ended up, well in a free fall.


The thrift my Uncle worked for failed back then.  He never recovered.  Ever.  And I blame Bush Sr. for that.

Here we are cleaning up the mess of another Bush Presidency.  When will we learn?  The banks are failing now, there are people who will never recover.  And they have families who will miss them.  Just like all of the service people who have given all for that Presidency.  For the love of God, can we not elect another Bush?  None of them were ever worth a shit.  Their idea of conservatism is really feudalism.  We all suffer when a Bush is in office.  Clinton cleaned up the last mess and Obama has inherited this mess.  For a guy who wanted to exceed his father’s accomplishments, I say Mission Accomplished.  In spite of your father’s monumental shortcomings, he is dwarfed by your shortcomings.  Mission Accomplished.  They say the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  It is insane to ever consider voting for another Bush.  Ever.

I really believe that most systems will work if not for the human condition, more pointedly, greed.  Communism works if not for greed. Socialism works, if not for greed.  Fascism works if not for greed.  And Capitalism works, if not for greed.  Greed, not the Cold War or the Great Communicator brought down the Soviet Empire.  And greed is bringing down our empire.

How do you curtail greed?  Regulation.  We don’t need suffocating regulation, just a checks and balance system to weed out the riff raff.  And then someone that understands where the vig is.

And I’ll lay right down in my favorite place

When Rita first got here, she wouldn’t lift her tail.  She peed submissively if I so much as looked at her and she spent a lot of time cowering.  When Bubba got here he would skitter away if I raised my voice and rarely would he come to me.  Now he remains so close to me that if I stop too quickly his nose will be up my ass.  He prances around here with the pride a Doberman should show.  She bolts out into the yard with no question that it is her domain, tail raised high.  I don’t recall the last time she cowered or peed submissively.  It’s amazing the resilience that dogs have.


And Rita is the only Doberman I’ve ever known to not be afraid of the rain.

She’s filing her nails while they’re dragging the lake

I should really change the tag line of this blog to “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.  It really sums up the world around me more often than not.  Last night I presided over the removal of an evicted owner’s shit from their house.  It started at 5pm.  In my heart of hearts I know this woman was taken advantage of by everyone every step of the way.  She shouldn’t have even been considering purchasing a house.  She shouldn’t have been approved for a loan over $600k, she’s a housekeeper.  She shouldn’t have gotten the loan and I promise you, knowing her English skills, she had no idea what was going on.  And all the people who “helped” her after she started losing the house belong in jail.  Including the bitch that accused me of harassing her.  I am watching you.  I don’t harass these people.  I know you’re a crook and you prey on these people.  God is good and I will get to watch you do the perp walk.  For the most part I feel bad for them.  In some instances it’s a business deal gone bad, in some instances there’s job loss and in some instances they never should have gotten in the situation in the first place.  When they clearly don’t understand, that’s when it really gets to me.  There was one guy who spoke English last night.  He said “She wants to know how much time she has”.  It was a 3/2 full of furniture and belongings.  “Tell her that as long as you guys continue to work, I will stay here.  Tell her I want her to take every single thing she wants.  I don’t want to take her things, I want her to have them.  You guys work, I stay.  OK?”  She smiled at the translation.  “And tell her she doesn’t have to clean anything or take things she doesn’t want, we’ll take care of that”.  The not cleaning thing was tough.  The women kept stopping to clean things and I kept having to say “No, no, it’s ok”  to keep them packing.  Considering how many people lived there, the place was remarkably neat and clean.  She didn’t deserve this.  If nothing else I wanted her to know that I wasn’t there to hurt her, only to help, and I didn’t want any money to not help her like so many who went before me in this process.  They emptied that place in two and a half hours.  I took the English speaking guy around and pointed to things and said “does she want this?” before we left.  I wished her well.  I was about to drive away and the children came running out to my car.  “Can you open up the house?  We can’t find our little brother?”  That would have sucked.

One day off in all of February.  I’m beat and don’t have much, so here’s The Google keywords of the weak week.

  • patty hauptman denver (that still makes me laugh)
  • jane garrison peta (Jane ran Lamarr Dixon, not because anyone told her to do it, but because it needed to be done, and she was a volunteer with HSUS not PETA..and she rocked it down in New Orleans.  I think she’s with PETA now.  Too bad, she’s a sharp lady)
  • jocelyn saenz (that showed up a bunch, something’s going on…obviously)
  • can my bunny eat a cheese curl (I have no freaking idea0
  • fatcola outsourcing (bangalore bangalore bangalore)
  • bunny ear orchid care (you understand I can barely grow vegetables…but check out my weed garden)
  • bfl free day (I think I’ve documented some epic ones here)
  • bike helmet bunny ears (not aerodynamically sound, but amusing)
  • Danville crack (tee hee)

I didn’t get my 50 miler in on Friday and now it’s raining.  I may try it tomorrow morning if we get a break.  In the interim I’m going to go do a crossfit workout and then head to my open house.  For those burglars who read this and think they will come to my house and rob me, 1) I haven’t bought any new shit in years 2) Rita and Bubba will be here cleaning the guns.

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