California Senate OKs bill to protect homeowners from unfair foreclosure practices

Experts

Senior Attorney
Media Director

Consumers Union praises vote to reinstate key protections of the Homeowners Bill of Rights

May 10, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA – Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, praised the California Senate today for approving SB 818, a bill that will help ensure Californians are treated fairly by mortgage loan servicers and have a better chance of keeping their homes should they fall on hard times financially.

SB 818 reinstates key provisions of the Homeowners Bill of Rights that were repealed by sunset on January 1, 2018.  Consumers Union helped win passage of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2012 in response to the economic devastation of the foreclosure crisis.

“The Homeowner Bill of Rights has helped thousands of Californians keep their homes by requiring mortgage loan servicers to engage in a timely, fair and transparent process with struggling borrowers before proceeding to foreclosure,” said Suzanne Martindale, senior attorney with Consumers Union.  “California’s previous foreclosure crisis may be over but these protections are still needed to ensure homeowners are treated fairly if we get hit with another recession.  This bill will enable California to continue to lead the nation in protecting homeowners, especially at a time when consumer protections are under attack in Congress.”

SB 818 requires mortgage servicers to stop foreclosure proceedings if a homeowner submits an application for a loan modification.  It requires servicers to notify homeowners that they have received a loan modification application; inform homeowners when additional application materials are required; and provide reasonable opportunity to appeal a denial.

Michael McCauley, mmccauley@consumer.org, 415-902-9537