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Governor Brown signs bill to protect homeowners from foreclosure abuses

Consumer Reports praises Governor for reinstating key protections of the Homeowner Bill of Rights

September 17, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA – Consumer Reports praised California Governor Jerry Brown today for signing into law 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.

Governor Brown signed SB 818, which reinstates key provisions of the Homeowner Bill of Rights that sunsetted on January 1, 2018.  Consumer Reports helped win passage of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights in 2012, when it was originally signed into law by Governor Brown in response to the economic devastation of the foreclosure crisis.

“The Homeowner Bill of Rights has provided critical protection to thousands of Californians at risk of losing their homes during tough financial times,” said Suzanne Martindale, senior attorney with Consumer Reports.  “Under the law, mortgage loan servicers must engage in a timely, fair and transparent process with struggling borrowers so they can take steps to avoid foreclosure.  At a time when consumer protections are being rolled back at the federal level, California continues to lead the nation.”

The law 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, 415-431-6747 (office), 415-902-9537 (cell)