New bill would protect California widows and widowers from foreclosure

(Credit: Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips, LLP)
(Credit: Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips, LLP)

If California Gov. Jerry Brown signs the latest bill to reach his desk, California’s widows and widowers would be granted greater protections against foreclosure.

The measure, supported by consumer groups, aims to give surviving spouses who aren’t on the mortgage of their home better chances at securing loan modification, a long process that could put them at greater risk of foreclosure.

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Even spouses who inherit property after a death could face hurdles from loan officers, the backers say.

The banking industry, on the other hand, calls the bill redundant because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently imposed similar rules on a nationwide basis, the L.A. Times reported.

Groups like the California Bankers Association are also wary. They are concerned that the new measure would make their members more vulnerable to litigation. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen