Governor Signs Several Bills
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
- Survivors Bill of Rights Amended to Exempt Reverse Mortgages
Governor Brown signed SB 1183 (Morrell) that exempts reverse mortgages from California’s Survivors Bill of Rights (SBOR), which provides procedural protections for successors in interest going through the foreclosure process. Senate Bill 1183 clarifies an ambiguity in California law that requires notification to heirs of deceased borrowers that they may contact lenders and seek to qualify as successors in interest of borrowers and assume the mortgage. The problem is that reverse mortgages are by their very nature not assumable, so without an express exemption for reverse mortgages, lenders might be required to send notices about assumption rights which do not exist.
- CLTA Sponsored HELOC Reforms Extended
The Governor signed CLTA-sponsored legislation indefinitely extending home equity line of credit (HELOC) reforms that were set to expire on July 1, 2019. The reforms standardize the written notification process for the easy closing of HELOCs during escrow. The reforms combat fraud and unintended misuse by prohibiting an original borrower, who no longer owns a home, from drawing on, increasing, or incurring any new additional principal debt on the equity line of credit. CLTA sponsored the extension, SB 1139 (Morrell), as well as the original bill in 2014 (AB 1770 (Dababneh).
- Issuance of SLC Certificates of Compliance Streamlined Under New Legislation
An omnibus public resources budget trailer bill, Senate Bill 854 (Comm. On Budget), has been signed into law. While the bill contains numerous legislative changes related to California’s 2018-19 budget, SB 854 also contains a provision allowing the executive officer of the State Lands Commission (SLC) to issue a “certificate of compliance” for specified conveyances of federal lands. The expansion of this authority is seen as an attempt to streamline the issuance of the certificates, which were previously required to be issued by the State Lands Commission at its regular meetings.
The requirement that the SLC issue certificates of compliance for the conveyance of specified federal lands was instituted by SB 50 (Allen), chaptered in October 2017. The California Land Title Association had opposed SB 50, arguing that, in addition to being unconstitutional, the bill was poorly drafted, placed undue burdens on property buyers and title company employees, and would have a significantly negative impact on the ability to effectively transfer federal land.
The U.S. Department of Justice has since filed suit against the State of California over SB 50, alleging that the law is a violation of the United States Constitution and should be blocked.