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New California Bill Fights Against Land Theft

Beachfront property is worth a lot of money, regardless of where you live. The average price in California is $6.34 million for a beachfront house and property.

As of September, the California State Senate passed a landmark bill that would return oceanfront property to the descendants of former owners. Before this ruling, the land belonged to the county of Los Angeles. The two lots are worth approximately $75 million in total.

It’s not every day that someone finds themselves regifted millions of dollars’ worth of land that they hadn’t owned in generations. Here’s how the new California bill came to be, and what it means for future property owners.

The Bill’s Background

In 1912, an African American couple owned Bruce’s Beach and built a beachfront resort. It welcomed Black beachgoers at a time when there weren’t many options for them. They would later get run out of the area and forced to shut down their resort.

Activists in recent years have been trying to help reclaim the land that was stolen from Black families. Governor Newsom recognized this group in influencing his decision to sign the bill, returning the land to the Bruce family.

About the New California Bill  

One of the new bills passed in California in early September allows the return of stolen property to the Bruce family. Governor Newsom officially signed it back to them on the last day of September.

It’s already illegal to knowingly sell or buy stolen property. However, this new bill specifically allowed the city to return the beachfront property to the rightful owners. Whoever is determined to be the legal heir then has the option to lease the land back to L.A. County.

This landmark bill also opens up the possibility for People of Color and Indigenous families to potentially earn back land that was taken from their ancestors in the future.

Dangers and History of Land Theft

Anyone who has attended grade school knows the United States’ painful history. The act of colonization stole land from the people already living here, and it would continue with African American families. Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to prove your claim to land without the appropriate legal documents.

Often, the property is taken from the poor who can’t afford rent. Laws regarding the tenant and landlord relationship were created to prevent the landlord from raising the rent beyond reason.

Nowadays, some mortgage agencies force foreclosures when the price of the mortgage payment increases. When that happens, homeowners may risk losing their home if they don’t seek legal help.

Protect Your Home

The new California bill introduced in September has given land back to a family that lost it over a century ago. However, there’s still much work to be done to help the many other families in a similar situation.

If you’re facing foreclosure, reach out to the Law Offices of Jason W. Estavillo, P.C. We have over 50 years of combined experience in Real Estate and Foreclosure law. Let us help you fight to keep your home.