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




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


Widowed Homeowners a Step Closer to Avoiding “Red Tape Foreclosures”

Senate Bill 1150

Last Tuesday, the California Senate voted Senate Bill 1150, the Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights (Los Angeles Times: Bill aimed at helping widows avoid foreclosure passes state Senate) forward. This means that widows, widowers, and other heirs are one step closer to avoiding what’s been called the “bureaucratic black hole,” when their loved ones pass away and they were the only ones listed on a mortgage.

Housing counselors, attorneys, and consumer advocates have been trying to address this problem for several years now, but banks and mortgage servicers have refused to follow new guidance from regulators on this issue.

In the most common scenario, a husband passes away, and his name was the only one on the mortgage.  When she contacts her mortgage servicer, she will likely face a mind-numbing bureaucracy of incorrect information, being passed back and forth between different departments, and delays lasting months or even years.  Incredibly, in a number of cases, surviving homeowners have been told they can’t talk to the bank until their deceased loved one signs a form authorizing them to do so.

Meanwhile, the foreclosure process is moving forward. Surviving heirs, numb from the loss of their loved ones, are also faced with the prospect of losing the home over their heads.

These survivor have an ownership interest in their home, yet the banks and servicers are engaging in the same practices that caused the California legislature (with strong support from Attorney General Kamala Harris) to pass the Homeowner Bill of Rights.

The next step for the bill is the Assembly Banking Committee.  We anticipate that the bank lobbyists will be working hard to maintain the status quo, so if you’re interested in helping to disrupt that status quo, please contact us.


How YOU can Help Protect Surviving Homeowners!

Can you contact your senator and ask them to support Senate Bill 1150?

It will take you five minutes, but could make a world of difference for a surviving homeowner who would be better protected from mortgage servicer bureaucracy and unnecessary foreclosure if SB 1150 is enacted. SB 1150 has already passed out of the Senate Banking and Senate Judiciary Committees. The next step is a vote on the full Senate floor, which we expect will happen next week.

We are especially focused on contacting these seven senators to let them know about the problem, how SB 1150 would fix it, and to ask for their support. So please pick up the phone and give them a phone call.

    1. Your senator: If you’re not sure who your senator is, please use this website.
    2. Senator Roth (Riverside) – (916) 651-4031
    3. Senator Mendoza (LA, OC) – (916) 651-4032
    4. Senator Hertzberg (Van Nuys) – (916) 651-4018
    5. Senator Hernandez (San Gabriel Valley) – (916) 651-4022
    6. Senator Allen (Westside, Hollywood, South Bay LA) – (916) 651-4026
    7. Senator Wolk (Parts of Contra Costa, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Sacramento counties): 916-651-4003
    8. Senator Leyva (San Bernardino, Pomona): (916) 651-4020


Also, if you’re active on social media, please consider tweeting a message of support as well.  We’re including a few sample tweets below that you can copy/paste. If you know that your senator is on Twitter, please add them to your tweet:


#SB1150 is a smart fix to address time-consuming bureaucracy that surviving homeowners currently face:  #CaLeg


#CaLeg has opportunity to protect widow and widower homeowners from unnecessary foreclosures with #SB1150:


After losing a spouse, surviving homeowners shouldn’t ALSO lose their homes unnecessarily. #SB1150 would stop “red tape foreclosures” #CaLeg 


Thanks for your support!  
The SB 1150 team (California Reinvestment Coalition, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, and California Association of Retired Americans)

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.

Learn More About Senate Bill 1150 to Help Surviving Homeowners in California

Are you just learning about Senate Bill 1150?

There is a short fact sheet that may be helpful to review.  It outlines the problems that surviving homeowners are facing, how SB 1150 would address these problems, and what organizations are supporting the legislation.

You can read the fact sheet here: SB 1150 Fact Sheet