New laws underway for distressed homeowners

Posted: 8/23/2016

In another move to help distressed homeowners, California’s assembly moved a step closer in creating legislation designed to protect widows, widowers and other heirs from foreclosure. Senate bill 1150 and the Homeowner Survivor Bill of rights will now go to the Senate for approval.

Created by Senators Mark Leno and Cathllen Galgiani, Senate Bill 1150 provides protection for people who own or are on title deeds of the home but are not listed on the mortgage. A loophole in state law fails to provide protections for surviving homeowners against foreclosure while these protections are available to other homeowners. The law would create guidelines for banks to contact surviving homeowners and inform them of all options, including loan assumptions and refinancing.

Kevin Stein, associate director at the California Reinvestment Coalition stated "We thank the housing counselors and legal aid attorneys who first raised the alarm about this problem, and who have been on the front lines, helping surviving homeowners to try and navigate these Kafkaesque bank bureaucracies. We also appreciate the courage shown by surviving homeowners like Ric Hornor and Blanche Robles who testified about the countless obstacles they (and too many other Californians) faced in trying to retain their homes, and we’re grateful to the more than sixty organizations that supported SB 1150. We urge the senate to approve SB 1150 and Governor Brown to sign it into law to prevent any more California seniors from losing their homes"

In other news, California saw for a fourth straight year an increase in home sales in most regions. Despite an increase in these sales, the market has showed signs of slowing down with more offers under listing price and fewer offers over listing price. Coastal regions such as San Francisco, Orange County and San Diego saw the greatest increase in home sales. On the other hand, areas such as Kern County saw a 22% percent drop in home sales from last year.