According to California's Attorney General, family members -- widows, widowers and children -- face many issues when a loved one dies and one of those issues is dealing with a home mortgage. Often, in the shuffle of estate requirements, families end up losing homes because they simply don't understand what is required to keep the home or they don't understand requirements in a timely enough manner to handle them.
The Attorney General is supporting a proposed law, currently known as Senate Bill 1150, which will mandate certain types of communication to heirs from mortgage service providers. Companies that collect mortgages would have to provide the survivors of a mortgage owner with information about how to keep the home. The information would need to include accurate information on the status of the mortgage as well as steps that need to be taken to secure the home.
The new bill would create more flexible options for some heirs. They could apply for both a modification and an assumption of the loan at the same time. This helps pave the way for spouses or other heirs to assume mortgage payments in a way that is in keeping with their budget.
The bill also has some other components that would help the Attorney General's office protect homeowners of all types. Specifically, the bill would extend the statute of limitations for filing charges regarding mortgage fraud to up to three years.
Homes can be a big part of your estate, but we know they aren't the only assets you might be worried about. For more information about protecting your home and other assets for loved ones, consider reaching out to a San Jose estate planning lawyer.
Source: SCV TV, "AG Announces Support for ‘Homeowner Survivor Bill of Rights’," April 20, 2016