A bill that would give California widows and widowers greater protections against foreclosure passed a state Senate committee Tuesday.
The proposal is geared at giving surviving homeowners who aren’t on the mortgage note a better shot at obtaining a loan modification after their spouse dies.
The Judiciary Committee voted 4 to 1 to approve the bill, which will now go before the full Senate.
Consumer groups say the survivors – who either already owned their homes or inherit them after a death – face considerable resistance from servicers when they try to obtain a loan modification.
Under SB 1150, survivors who aren’t on the mortgage would get many of the protections afforded to borrowers under the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, which became law in 2013.
Servicers couldn’t pursue a foreclosure while at the same time negotiating a loan modification. In addition, widows, widowers and surviving children would gain the right to sue to prevent a foreclosure or for limited economic damages if one occurs.
At the committee hearing Tuesday, Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), the coauthor, said he was willing to amend the bill as it moves through the Legislature so it would “align” with future regulations from the federal consumer agency.
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