New Protections For Widowed Homeowners and Other Heirs in California

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Great news!  Senate Bill 1150, the Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights (SBOR), was signed into law on September 29, 2016.  The law will take effect in January, 2017.

SBOR will address egregious behavior by banks and mortgage servicers who have refused to speak with surviving homeowners about their family homes and option to retain them.

If you are a surviving homeowner who is hitting a brick wall when trying to speak with your mortgage servicer, please contact us so we can connect you to resources.

To learn more about SB1150, you can read this Los Angeles Times article:

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a bill that’s designed to give widows and widowers a better shot at saving their homes when they fall behind on mortgage payments. Senate Bill 1150 boosts protections against foreclosure for surviving spouses who own their home but are not on its mortgage note.

Read the rest of the article here:  California Gov. Jerry Brown signs a bill that boosts protection for surviving spouses against foreclosure  (Andrew Khouri, Sept. 29, 2016)

 

Mortgage Servicers Still Unhelpful, Report Homeowners

Since the CFPB started accepting complaints,

it has received over 223,000 mortgage-related  complaints! 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s most recent monthly complaint report focused on mortgage complaints and on California.  According to the CFPB, it has “handled approximately 223,100 mortgage complaints since July 21, 2011, making mortgage the second most-complained-about product after debt collection, representing 26 percent of total complaints.”

The statistics from the report are troubling:

    • Fifty-one percent of complaints are related to loss mitigation: According to the CFPB: “consumers complained of prolonged loss mitigation review processes in which the same documentation was repeatedly requested by their servicer. Consumers also complained that they received conflicting and confusing foreclosure notifications during the loss mitigation review process.”
    • Loan servicing transfers still unclear for customers: This is a common problem that has been identified in multiple surveys the California Reinvestment Coalition has conducted with housing counselors and legal advocates.  You can see our most recent report here, or listen to an interview with an Oakland survivor homeowner, KaRynn Kelly, on NPR’s Morning Edition: Foreclosure Overhaul Comes Too Slowly For Many Homeowners
    • Communication is still a problem: Consumers complaints that when they were able to speak with their servicers, “the information they received was often confusing and did not provide the clarifications they were hoping for.”
    • Four companies who received most complaints: According to the CFPB, the four companies who received most mortgage-related complaints between Nov 2015 and Jan 2016 were Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Ocwen, and Nationstar.

Most complained about companies for California

The CFPB notes: “Company-level information should be considered in context of company size and/or market share in a given geographic area. In the February 2015 – January 2016 period, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Experian led the list of most-complained-about companies by California consumers. “

California CFPB complaints (As of April 2016)

You can read the full CFPB report here: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Monthly Complaint Report Vol. 10  (April 2016)