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Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights Approved by Assembly

Senate BHCalifornia’s assembly moved one step closer to enacting legislation designed to protect widows, widowers, and other heirs from foreclosures, according to a recent release from bill supporters.

“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,” says Kevin Stein, associate director at the California Reinvestment Coalition, a co-sponsor of SB1150. “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.”

The report states that Senate Bill 1150 (Leno, Galgiani), the Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights (SBOR), was approved by the Assembly, receiving 47 votes. Authored by Senators Mark Leno and Cathleen Galgiani, SB 1150 provides protections for widowed spouses and other survivors including domestic partners, heirs, siblings, joint tenants, and those who own their homes but were not listed on the mortgage.

“We’re glad to see that people still matter in Sacramento. CARA members met with many of our elected officials during the past six months. When we explained the problem of widow foreclosures, most agreed that SB 1150 was a common-sense solution to protecting senior homeowners,” says Nan Brasmer, president of the California Association of Retired Americans, a co-sponsor of SB 1150. “Governor Brown turned 78 years old in April, so we think he’ll appreciate the protections included in this bill for senior homeowners. And, we’d encourage him to join CARA when his term expires in 2018.”

The release notes that SB 1150 is co-sponsored by Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA), the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), and the California Association for Retired Americans (CARA). Additionally, SB 1150 is supported by California Attorney General Kamala Harris and over 60 organizations, including AARP California, Courage Campaign, CalPIRG, the Multicultural Real Estate Alliance for Urban Change, the National Council of La Raza, National Housing Law Project, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County.

“The assembly approval of SB 1150 is an important step forward in California leading the nation when it comes to protecting homeowners from unscrupulous foreclosure practices," says Maeve Elise Brown, executive director of Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, a co-sponsor of SB 1150. "SB 1150 is a pragmatic way to stop widows, widowers, and other heirs from needlessly losing their homes to foreclosure and we hope Governor Brown signs it quickly.”

About Author: Kendall Baer

Kendall Baer is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in news editorial journalism and a minor in marketing. She is fluent in both English and Italian, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Apart from her work as a journalist, she has also managed professional associations such as Association of Corporate Counsel, Commercial Real Estate Women, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Project Management Institute for Association Management Consultants in Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Texas, Baer now works as the online editor for DS News.
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