In response to the foreclosure crisis, California governor Jerry Brown signed the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) into law in 2012. Many provisions of the law—including some that servicers considered burdensome, but that provided homeowners with protections against foreclosure—expired on January 1, 2018.
Then, on September 14, 2018, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill No. 818 into law. This law permanently reinstates certain provisions of HBOR and better protects the interests of homeowners.
When HBOR went into effect on January 1, 2013, the law reformed many aspects of the California foreclosure process to provide more rights to homeowners who're facing foreclosure. HBOR required, among other things, that the servicer designate a single point of contact for homeowners seeking a loan modification or other foreclosure prevention alternative. Also, once a homeowner submitted a complete loan modification application, the servicer had to stop the foreclosure while it reviewed the application. Even if the servicer denied the request, it could not foreclose until any applicable appeals period had expired (generally 30 days from the date of a written denial).
But on January 1, 2018, many provisions of HBOR expired or were replaced—and were considerably easier for servicers to follow. Among the changes, the servicer didn’t have to provide certain notices or let the borrower appeal a loan modification denial.
Senate Bill 818 reinstated many expired provisions, as well as amended HBOR. The newly revised and restored HBOR requires large servicers (those that foreclose on more than 175 properties per year) to comply with the following, among other things.
(To get further details about HBOR and the protections it provides to borrowers facing foreclosure in California, see Special Foreclosure Protections in California.)
Effective date: September 14, 2018