Just a heads up for those who were still unaware and a reminder for those who may have forgotten about the new law: September 29, 2016, California passed a new bill into law called the Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights or SBOR. SBOR, which went into effect January 1, 2017, should be of significant assistance to widowed spouses, if for no other reason, than that it requires the mortgage servicer to communicate with the surviving spouse.
The California Reinvestment Coalition recommends, if your servicer is still not cooperating, and you are a California resident, ask them if they are aware of the new law SB1150 designed to prevent widows, widowers and surviving children from facing unnecessary foreclosure.
Currently concerns about privacy violations prevent most banks from discussing the mortgage account with anyone other than the account holder. Still, in situations where the mortgagor has recently died, trying to find out how to move forward to keep the home can be an egregious burden when experiencing grief from the recent loss of a loved one. So far, only California has passed a SBOR, and that means the rights are only extended to survivors of borrowers who resided in California.
What SB1150 Does
Senate Bill 1150 was designed to
- Stop Widow Foreclosures
- Support aging in place
- Protect senior and heirs from service “red-tape” foreclosure
- Help protect against the loss of the largest asset most of us will ever own
The passage of SB1150 means that as of January 2017, servicers must speak with surviving homeowners and provide clear information about their options and the process to assume the mortgage and possibly seek a modification. Surviving homeowners have the recourse to sue banks and mortgage servicers that don’t comply with the law
Who supported SB 1150
SB 1150 was co-sponsored by Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), and the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA). To see a full list of supporters, visit Their Site
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