How YOU can Help Stop “Widow Foreclosures” by Contacting Governor Brown

SB 1150 approval by Senate

After months of hard work, hearings, and media coverage about Senate Bill 1150 (Leno, Galgiani), it was approved by the California Senate yesterday!

Now, the bill heads to Governor Brown.

And that’s where you can help!

If you have been impacted by this issue personally (or have friends or relatives who have), if you are a housing counselor or attorney who has helped “surviving homeowners,” or if you have followed this issue and believe in the need for SB 1150, then we need your help, as soon as possible.

If you have ten minutes, please write a quick letter to Governor Brown and put it in the mail.  We’ve been informed that real letters

Here’s a link to the sample letter.

If you have any questions, please contact CRC:  Kstein AT

And, we extend a HUGE thank you to Senator Leno and Senator Galgiani, the more than 60 organizations supporting SB 1150, the brave homeowners who have shared their difficult stories about facing needless foreclosures, and the housing counselors and legal aid attorneys who originally helped bring this problem to the public light. 


The SB1150 Team

California Reinvestment Coalition

Housing and Economic Rights Advocates

California Alliance for Retired Americans




We need YOUR phone calls to stop widow foreclosures

Senate Bill 1150


Supporters of SB 1150: We NEED your phone calls  (ASAP) to these assemblymembers, asking them to vote YES on SB1150 to prevent more “widow foreclosures” on seniors in California.  If you can’t speak to somebody, please try to leave a message.  If you have any questions, please contact CRC: 415-8764-3980.
Priorities: Please call these assemblymembers first:
Cheryl Brown: Phone: (916) 319-2047
Nora Campos: Phone: (916) 319-2027
Ken Cooley: Phone: (916) 319-2008
Jim Cooper: Phone: (916) 319-2009
Tom Daly: Phone: (916) 319-2069
Bill Dodd: Phone: (916) 319-2004
Jose Medina: Phone: (916) 319-2061
Patrick O’Donnell: Phone: (916) 319-2070
Das Williams: Phone: (916) 319-2037
And if you have more time, please also contact these four assemblymembers:
Mike Gipson: Phone: (916) 319-2064
Jim Wood: Phone: (916) 319-2002
Jim Frazier: Phone: (916) 319-2011
Rudy Salas: Phone: (916) 319-2032

California Housing Advocates Respond to CFPB’s Final Mortgage Servicing Rules


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its final mortgage servicing rule last week, with stronger protections to prevent unnecessary foreclosures on successors-in-interest, more commonly known as “widow foreclosures” or “red-tape foreclosures.”

Kevin Stein from the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) and Maeve Elise Brown from Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) issued these statements in response to the CFPB’s rules:

“We are glad to see the CFPB issue its much anticipated final rule on mortgage servicing, which clarifies the obligations that mortgage servicers have to work with successors in interest (widows, orphans and similar heirs). As expected, the rule acknowledges that these successors are confronting a variety of hurdles when trying to work with their mortgage servicer to keep their family home,” explains Stein. “To address this problem, the Bureau’s new rule provides confirmed successors the same rights as all borrowers which is positive. At the same time, it was concerning to see the Bureau chose not to include an accountability mechanism (like a private right of action) to ensure the servicers would follow the new rules. And, these new rules won’t take effect until early 2018.”

Brown adds: “Fortunately, pending state legislation, Senate Bill 1150 (Leno, Galgiani), includes a private right of action for California successors to ensure that mortgage servicers are held accountable for following the rules. We learned from the Homeowner Bill of Rights that including this mechanism created accountability and forced mortgage servicers and banks to clean up their acts and stop illegal foreclosures. Senate Bill 1150 would do the same thing for the most vulnerable homeowners in California.” She adds: “The CFPB’s new rules, coupled with SB1150, would go a long way towards leveling the playing field and helping to preserve the largest asset most Americans will ever own.”

Additional Context:

Broad Support: SB 1150 is co-sponsored by Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), and the California Association for Retired Americans (CARA). SB 1150 is supported by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and over 60 well-known organizations, including AARP California, California State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Courage Campaign, CalPIRG, the Multicultural Real Estate Alliance for Urban Change, the National Council of La Raza, the National Housing Law Project, Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, and more. To see a full list of supporters, visit

Research on Problems faced by successors in interest:

The California Reinvestment Coalition and Housing and Economic Rights Advocates submitted an in-depth legal analysis of the problem and case studies of homeowners in California experiencing these problems to the CFPB, OCC, and Federal Reserve in 2012.

In a 2014 survey of California housing counselors and Legal Aid attorneys, 87% of respondents said the “widows issue” was still a problem, despite federal guidance to mortgage servicers about working with successors in interest to prevent this problem.

A 2016 white paper by Housing and Economic Rights Advocates gives additional context to this problem and the problems it can trigger for older Americans who want to age in place and whose home is their largest asset. Download the paper here: Whose Home Is It Anyway? How The Modern Mortgage Servicing Industry Strips Wealth From Low and Moderate Income Communities In the U.S. And California

Senate Bill 1150: How Can I Help Widowed Homeowners?

Dear SB1150 Supporters:

We made it!

Yesterday after taking some amendments, SB1150 (Leno, Galgiani) passed out of Assembly Banking on a vote of 8 to 2!

This is a big step as we try to put in place protections for widows, widowers and other heirs who continue to face unnecessary foreclosures. We could not have done it without all of the support you have provided with your letters, phone calls, texts, in-district meetings, and presence at the hearing.

Now, we move to Assembly Judiciary. The committee is meeting a week from today, Tuesday, June 28 at 9am.

We need to make a (near) final push to get through this committee. Can you pick up the phone and call these assembly members and urge them to vote YES on SB 1150?

Thank you!

The SB 1150 Team

Member Staff Phone
Stone Committee Staff 916-319-2029
Wagner  Lily Movsisyan 916-319-2068
Alejo Paco Torres 916-319-2030
Chau Garret Bazurto 916-319-2049
Chiu Eric Guerra 916-319-2017
Gallagher Joe Zanze 916-319-2003
Cristina Garcia Erinn Ryberg 916-319-2058
Holden Nicholas Liedtke 916-319-2041
Maienschein Matthew Easley 916-319-2077
Ting Jessica Duong 916-319-2019

Law to Protect Widowed Homeowners: How You Can Help

SB 1150 stops bad foreclosures

Imagine losing your wife or husband, and then facing the prospect of losing your home because of bank and mortgage servicer bureaucracy.

New legislation, introduced in California, Senate Bill 1150, would put a stop to these “red tape foreclosures.”

The bill has already passed out of the Senate and the next stop is the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance.

If you have 5 minutes, can you pick up the phone and let these elected officials know that you support SB 1150 and you think they should also support stopping unnecessary foreclosures on vulnerable California seniors?

Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance Committee Members

Matthew Dababneh (Chair) Dem – 45:  Call him at: (916) 319-2045
Travis Allen (Vice Chair) Rep – 72: Call him at: (916) 319-2072
Katcho Achadjian Rep – 35:  Call him at: (916) 319-2035
Susan A. BonillaDem – 14:  Call her at: (916) 319-2014
Cheryl R. BrownDem – 47:  Call her at: (916) 319-2047
Ed Chau Dem – 49:  Call him at: (916) 319-2049
Mike Gatto Dem – 43: Call him at: (916) 319-2043
David Hadley Rep – 66: Call him at: (916) 319-2066
Young O. Kim Rep – 65: Call her at:  (916) 319-2065
Evan Low- Dem – 28: Call him at: (916) 319-2028
Sebastian Ridley-Thomas Dem – 54 Call him at: (916) 319-2054
Mark Stone Dem – 29: Call him at: (916) 319-2029


Widow Shares Her Story About Why She’s Supporting SB 1150

Senate Bill 1150 (Leno-Galgiani) is legislation that was introduced to address what has been called the “bureaucratic black hole” that widows, widowers, and other heirs are facing when trying to contact their mortgage servicers after the death of a loved one who was the only person listed on a mortgage.

Jimi “Angie” Depew is a homeowner in Eureka, California who experienced this problem first hand with her mortgage servicer, Citi.

After nearly two years of working to keep her home (along with assistance from an attorney at Legal Services of Northern California), she remarked in a letter to Senator Leno:

“While I am relieved that this ordeal is now over and I am no longer at risk of losing my home, I cannot begin to explain the level of confusion, frustration and stress I felt over the nearly two years I was attempting to work with Citi. I have no doubt that without the help of an attorney I would not have made it through this very difficult process and I would have lost my home in foreclosure.”

You can read her full letter to Senator Leno here.

If you’d like to get in touch with CRC about Senate Bill 1150, please visit our “Contact Us” page.