How does the California Homeowner Bill of Rights Help You?

Did you hear the recent news about a homeowner in West Sacramento effectively using the new California Homeowner Bill of Rights to stop foreclosure on his home?  You can read about it in the Sacramento Bee: “West Sacramento homeowner uses new state law to stop foreclosure (5/23/2013)” The Fair Housing Law Project at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley prepared a summary of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights which homeowners can use when working with their bank or servicer to apply for a loan modification.

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California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR) adds new protections to help prevent avoidable foreclosures.  HBOR requires loan servicers and lenders to provide additional notices so that borrowers will know their rights and how to contact their loan servicer to obtain a loan modification or other types of foreclosure relief.

HBOR prevents “Dual Tracking” where loan servicers put homeowners on the foreclosure track, even when a loan modification application is being evaluated.  HBOR requires that servicers provide for a single consistent point of contact to help the homeowner through the loan modification and or foreclosure process.  HBOR also requires lenders to provide proper documentation before they can foreclose, and it gives borrowers tools to enforce their rights.

Before filing a notice of default (NOD), and at least 30 days prior to recording a NOD, the mortgage servicer must send a written notice to the borrower stating that if the borrower is a service member, or a dependent of a service member, he or she may be entitled to certain protections. The notice must also let borrowers know, (both military and non-military), that they have the right to request and obtain key loan documents, and their payment history.

If the lender has already filed a notice of default (NOD), the mortgage servicer must send a letter to the borrower within 5 business days of recording the NOD, notifying the borrower that he or she may be evaluated for a foreclosure prevention alternative; whether an application is required to be considered; and the process by which a borrower may obtain an application.

Key Requirements and Protections under HBOR

  • HBOR requires servicers to acknowledge receipt of your loan modification application and prohibits them from proceeding with the foreclosure process while evaluating your eligibility.
  • If you submit a loan modification application, the servicer must give you written acknowledgement of receipt of your documentation within 5 business days of receipt.  The notice must also provides information about the application process, advises    you of any missing documents needed to make the application complete and gives you a deadline for submitting those documents.
  • You must be informed one way or the other of your lender’s decision.  Borrowers who submit a completed loan application must get a “yes” or “no” decision from their servicer before the servicer can begin or continue with the foreclosure process. A denial must include a detailed explanation for their decision.
  • HBOR stops the foreclosure while you wait for a decision.  Once you’ve submitted a completed loan modification application, your servicer cannot file or proceed with a filed foreclosure until your lender has given you a decision on your modification.
  • HBOR stops foreclosure if you qualify for, accept and keep current on a loan modification.  If your lender says you qualify and you accept an offer, the lender cannot proceed with foreclosure, as long as you keep paying on time and as agreed in the modification.

You have 14 days to accept an offered first lien loan modification.  If you do not accept the modification, your servicer can proceed with the foreclosure process 14 days after the first lien loan modification is offered.

Loan servicers cannot charge you a fee to apply for a loan modification or other relief.

Late fees cannot be assessed for periods during which a completed loan modification application is under consideration, during an appeal, or while timely loan modification payments are being made.

If you are granted a modification or other relief and the loan is sold or transferred, the subsequent servicer must honor the agreement.

HBOR does not require a servicer to offer you a loan modification if it does not participate in any such program, or if you do not meet the applicable eligibility requirements.

The duty to offer an opportunity to apply for foreclosure prevention alternatives, if available through the lender, is limited to first lien loans.

The Fair Housing Law Project is a member of ForeclosureHelpSCC, a community program that assists homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure.  If you are facing foreclosure, there are certified professionals who can help you understand your options to avoid foreclosure, including through a loan modification.  Call the hotline: 408-293-6000, visit the website:, or send an email:


Foreclosure Help is a coalition program funded by the city of San Jose through a HUD Community Development Block Grant and the city of Sunnyvale, and we can directly assist homeowners  and tenants in San Jose and Sunnyvale who are facing foreclosure.   However, we are unable to assist homeowners/former homeowners in other cities and states.  If you need housing counseling, we suggest using the interactive map on HUD’s website.

ForeclosureHelp partners include the Housing Trust Silicon Valley (lead agency), the Fair Housing Law Project at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, SurePath Financial Solutions, Project Sentinel, Asian Inc, Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley, and the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors.

If you are a homeowner living in San Jose or Sunnyvale and are struggling with your mortgage, please contact ForeclosureHelpSCC, a program funded by the City of San Jose through a HUD Community Development Block Grant and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit us: Our housing counselors can help you evaluate your options, learn more about federal and state programs that may help you with your mortgage issues, and will help you create a plan forward.

Please note: All content included in the ForeclosureHelpSCC blog is provided for information only and should NOT be considered legal or tax advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on our hotline: (408)-293-6000, or visit our website: or send us an email:

Si usted es dueño de una casa en San José o en Sunnyvale y están luchando con su hipoteca, por favor póngase en contacto con ForeclosureHelpSCC, un programa financiado por la ciudad de San José y la ciudad de Sunnyvale, al (408) -293- 6000, o visite nuestro sitio:

Nuestros consejeros puede ayudarle a evaluar sus opciones, aprender más acerca de los programas federales y estatales que pueden ayudarle con sus problemas de hipoteca, y le ayudará a crear un plan para seguir. Por favor, tenga en cuenta: Todos los contenidos incluidos en el blog ForeclosureHelpSCC se proporciona únicamente a título informativo y no debe ser considerada como consejo legal o fiscal. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor no dude en contactarnos a nuestra línea directa: (408) -293-6000, o visite nuestro o envíenos un correo electrónico:

Nếu bạn là một sinh hoạt chủ sở hữu nhà ở San Jose hoặc Sunnyvale và đang đấu tranh với nợ nhà, xin vui lòng liên ForeclosureHelpSCC, một chương trình được tài trợ bởi thành phố San Jose và thành phố của Sunnyvale ở (408) -293-6000 hoặc truy cập trang web của chúng tôi:

Nhân viên tư vấn của chúng tôi đã được HUD chấp thuận có thể giúp bạn đánh giá các lựa chọn của bạn, tìm hiểu thêm về các chương trình của liên bang và tiểu bang có thể giúp bạn với các vấn đề thế chấp của bạn, và sẽ giúp bạn tạo ra một kế hoạch phía trước.Xin lưu ý: Tất cả các nội dung trên Blog ForeclosureHelpSCC được cung cấp thông tin duy nhất và không nên coi là hợp pháp hoặc tư vấn thuế. Nếu bạn có bất cứ câu hỏi , xin vui lòng liên hệ với chúng tôi qua đường dây nóng: (408) -293-6000, hoặc truy cập vào trang của chúng tôi: hoặc gửi email cho chúng tô fair_housing_logo FAIR HOUSING AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY It is the policy of ForeclosureHelp not to discriminate against any person because of that person’s race, color, religious creed, sex (gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status (households with children under the age of 18), source of income, disability, medical condition or age. Color or “ethnic group identification” means the possession of the racial, cultural or linguistic characteristics common to a racial, cultural or ethnic group, or the country or ethnic group from which a person or his or her forebears originated. As required by law, we agree to take the affirmative steps needed to further fair housing. ForeclosureHelp will consider any and all requests for reasonable accommodation in the application of its rules, policies, practices, and services, and in the use of its physical structures, in accordance with the requirements of state and federal laws. You can ask ForeclosureHelp to consider any reasonable accommodation you may have. Please consult with the Program Manager (408-293-6000 or via email: to request this accommodation.

2 thoughts on “How does the California Homeowner Bill of Rights Help You?

  1. Pingback: La Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios de California | ForeclosureHelpSCC

  2. Although I summited a modification package through a company it has been two years and no modification with Chase bank. Chase now want’s to go to mediation and has offered to give me a better deal then a HEMP loan what am I entitled to everything is documented from day one. I have a suit filed in Federal Court for RoBo signing and other issues which they continue to ignore and also used as and excuse to not deal with modification which I believed should have been a separate a California resident what should I be entitled to.
    Andy Bello

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