Consumer Protection

California Lenders May Not Require Excess Homeowners Insurance Coverage as a Condition of Lending

If you are among the many Californians who purchased or refinanced a home recently to take advantage of low mortgage interest rates, your lender may have violated California law by requiring you to purchase excess hazard insurance as a condition of receiving a loan.

In California, lenders may require homeowners have hazard insurance (also called homeowners insurance or fire insurance) as a condition of extending credit. However, the lender may not require a borrower to purchase insurance over and above the cost of replacing the buildings on the property. In other words, you cannot be required to purchase more insurance than would cover the cost of constructing a new home if yours burned down. 

Unfortunately, some lenders in California may be violating that law by adopting unlawful policies, such as requiring a borrower have hazard insurance that covers 80% of the property’s total value, as opposed to the replacement value. A policy like this could lead to unlawfully high insurance requirements because the total value of real property can be much higher than the cost of the buildings on that property. For example, a small home on a piece of prime real estate might only cost $300,000 to build; but the property itself might be worth substantially more than that because of the location, particularly in a hot real estate market. Thus, basing the insurance requirement on the property’s total value would force homeowners to borrow much more than the replacement cost of their homes, which would in turn violate California law.

If your lender required you to purchase homeowners insurance coverage that exceeds the replacement value of your home, you should contact an experienced consumer attorney. The attorneys at Haeggquist & Eck can determine if you might have a claim against the lender to recover for the damages caused by such an unlawful practice. 

Do I Have Any Rights Relating To How Companies Use My Personally Identifiable Information?

What is Considered Private Information on the Internet?

Internet privacy involves how your personally identifiable information (“PII”) is handled by online companies, including how the companies acquire, store, sell, display, disclose, and otherwise use your PII.

PII refers to any information that can be used to identify you, such as age, physical address, name, birthdate, social security number, etc. Other forms of PII may also include non-specific identifiers such as GPS tracking data used by apps and software to track your behavior while visiting websites.

How is my Information being gathered by companies on the Internet?

Your PII is being gathered from the internet in various ways. For example, when you make an online purchase, many companies are storing your information from the online forms used to make the purchase. Same thing when you book a service using the internet. The companies then use your PII to target you with additional advertisements on similar products or services, and/or sell your PII to other companies.

In addition, there are companies that track which websites you visit and then use the information to send you advertisements based on your web browsing history. Similarly, companies are using your online presence to observe your behavior, such as browsing logs, search queries, and contents of social media profiles. Companies also “scrape” the internet to gather information about you, such as your photos for facial recognition. This data gathering, however, creates significant privacy concerns. Fortunately, as stated below, several laws provide you with remedies if a company misuses your PII.

What can I do if a company sold my private information without my consent or failed to keep my private information secure?

Several laws provide you with a right to privacy and control over your PII. For example, in order to provide you with greater privacy protections, among other things, most large organizations are required to:

  1. Inform you about when and how your data is collected and give you the right to access, correct, and delete information;
  2. Implement and maintain reasonable data security measures;
  3. Publish privacy policies and follow those policies;
  4. Obtain your consent prior to collecting, processing, using, sharing, or disclosing your PII; and
  5. Timely notify you of a data breach affecting your PII.


Similarly, organizations are not allowed to obtain or use your biometric information, such as your faceprint (from a photograph) or your fingerprint, without your express consent.

If you feel an organization has mishandled your PII in any way, you may be able to hold the company accountable for damages and penalties.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an attorney who can help, contact Haeggquist & Eck, LLP online or call us at (619) 342-8000.

Californians Can Fight Back Against Unsolicited Commercial Emails

Dreaded spam emails are saturating our inboxes. Unfortunately, there is not an easy way to stop or get rid of the flood of unsolicited commercial emails. Despite Bill Gates famously saying in 2004 that “two years from now, spam will be solved,” 16 years later technology has failed to stop the influx of unsolicited commercial emails.

Fortunately, California has created a way for consumers to fight back with its “Anti-Spam” law (California Business & Professions Code §§17529.2, et seq.). California has made it unlawful for any person or entity to send “unsolicited commercial e-mail” advertisements from California and/or to a California email address. It is similarly unlawful for any person or entity to collect email addresses posted on the internet for purposes of unsolicited commercial email advertisements.

If you are a recipient of an unsolicited commercial email in California, you are entitled to seek $1,000 for each unsolicited commercial email advertisement.

If you are a recipient of an unsolicited commercial email in California, and you would like to know more information about your rights, contact the attorneys at Haeggquist & Eck, LLP. The attorneys offer free case evaluations and if they take your case, they will represent you on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay them anything unless they win.

To schedule your free initial consultation, contact us online or call (619) 342-8000 today!

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