Explaining HBOR’s requirement of a Single Point of Contact

This entry was posted on Friday, January 20th, 2017 and is filed under Uncategorized.

California Civil Code §2923.7, which is part of the set of laws commonly referred to as the Homeowner Bill of Rights (“HBOR”), requires that a loan servicer assign a Single Point of Contact (“SPOC”) to a borrower.  While this may seem clear in the abstract, actually applying this requirement in the real world is a more complex undertaking.  The responsibilities of the SPOC under HBOR are to:

  • Communicate the loan assistance application process and explain the timelines under which both parties will operate;
  • Coordinate the receipt of all necessary documents and notify the borrower of any required documents necessary to complete the application;
  • Access the borrower’s status with regard to the foreclosure prevention alternative;
  • Ensure the borrower is considered for all foreclosure prevention alternatives offered by the servicer; and
  • Communicate with those who have the authority to stop foreclosure proceedings. Civil Code § 2923.7(b).
  • Also, Section 2923.7(c) states that “[t]he single point of contact shall remain assigned to the borrower’s account until the mortgage servicer determines that all loss mitigation options [] have been exhausted”

Courts have sought to interpret the SPOC requirement to give effect to the statutory language while also recognizing the realities that employees often change jobs and no one is available 24/7.  Accordingly, a SPOC has been defined as “an individual or team of personnel” provided that each member of the team must be “knowledgeable about the borrower’s situation and current status in the alternatives to the foreclosure process.”

The question of whether a servicer has complied with the SPOC in a particular case involves a fact intensive inquiry.  If the servicer failed to comply with the SPOC requirement, that failure can form the basis for pursuing a remedy for the borrower.