Important Protections For Widowed Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

IMG_4178 (1) (2)
The largest asset most Americans have.

The California Reinvestment Coalition has been contacted by a number of homeowners and heirs who are struggling to understand what their rights are when working with their mortgage servicers- especially in cases where the borrower who is on the mortgage has passed away.

As of January 1, 2017, a new law went into effect in California which will be very helpful for families who may be facing unnecessary foreclosures because their servicers are refusing to speak with them.  The law is called the Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights, and you can learn more about it on this website.

If you are a homeowner or heir trying to speak with your bank or mortgage servicer and they are refusing to speak with them, you may ask if they’re aware of the new law- and the requirements under it.

If you are still hitting a brick wall when trying to speak with your bank or servicer, please give CRC a call and we’ll connect you with experts in your area.

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)