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California Senate Banking Committee OKs bill to protect homeowners from unfair foreclosure practices

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

April 4, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA – Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, praised the Senate Banking Committee 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SB 818 would reinstate key provisions of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights that were repealed by sunset on January 1, 2018.  Consumers Union worked closely on the Homeowner Bill of Rights signed into law by Governor Brown in 2012 in response to the economic devastation of the foreclosure crisis.

“Since it was enacted, the Homeowner Bill of Rights has prevented thousands of avoidable foreclosures by requiring mortgage loan servicers to engage in a timely, fair and transparent process with struggling homeowners before proceeding to foreclosure,” said Suzanne Martindale, senior attorney with Consumers Union.  “We shouldn’t allow these critical protections to disappear.  This bill will enable California to continue to lead the nation in protecting homeowners, especially at a time when consumer protections are under attack at the federal level.”

SB 818 would require mortgage servicers to stop foreclosure proceedings if a homeowner submits an application for a loan modification.  It would require 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, 415-431-6747, ext 7606 or 415-902-9537 (cell)