SB 1150, also known as the Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights (SBOR) takes effect in January 2017 after being signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.  The bill’s objective is to provide struggling widows and other property heirs with protections against foreclosure, including protections similar to those given to homeowners under the Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) in 2013.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“’Facing foreclosure after the loss of a loved one can be devastating. The governor’s approval of SB 1150 will help keep more families in their homes and reaffirms California as a nationwide leader in protecting vulnerable homeowners,’ said Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), who authored the bill with Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton).”

“Widows and widowers will now have many of the rights borrowers already have under the California Homeowner Bill of Rights. Among those is a ban on dual tracking — the practice of negotiating with clients to modify a mortgage while simultaneously pursuing foreclosure.”

We have seen a tremendous number widows and heirs who allege that mortgage servicers refuse to talk to them after the death of the primary borrower.  If the borrower passed while the mortgage was in default, the heirs are presented with only two options:  reinstate the loan or suffer foreclosure.  Many of these heirs, however, are otherwise financially qualified to assume the loan and/or obtain the benefit of loss mitigation programs such as loan modification or short sale.

The SBOR provides a mechanism for these heirs to apply for loan assumption and loss mitigation while restricting the servicer’s right to foreclose.  We expect a growing number of these cases and will continue to represent California homeowners against foreclosure by litigating their rights under both the SBOR and HBOR.


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