California Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights Signed Into Law – NMP Skip to main content

California Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights Signed Into Law

Phil Hall
Sep 30, 2016
Potential homeowners in search of affordable residential properties will have a tough time if they are hunting in California

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 1150, the Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights (SBOR) with the new law scheduled to go into effect in January.

SB 1150 is designed to protect the rights of surviving homeowners that owns a residential property but was not listed on a mortgage where the borrower has passed away. This situation has created complaints of lenders and servicers refusing to communicate with the surviving homeowner—defined by the new law as widowed spouses, domestic partners, heirs, siblings, and joint tenants—while pushing for foreclosure. SBOR now requires servicers to communicate with surviving homeowners on the process of assuming the mortgage, and will also enable surviving homeowners to sue lenders and servicers that fail to comply with the new law.

SBOR was co-sponsored by the California Reinvestment Coalition, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates and the California Alliance for Retired Americans, and the law follows charges that California servicers were not cooperating with surviving homeowners despite 2013 guidances on the subject by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the government-sponsored enterprises and a 2014 guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who supported the effort, praised the new law. “Those who suffer the loss of a loved one should not also face the possibility of needlessly losing their family home,” she said. “I applaud the Governor for signing SB 1150, which will protect surviving family members from wrongful foreclosure.”

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