Keep Your Home California is a program that makes financial payments to help eligible California homeowners avoid foreclosure.

One homeowner was recently helped by Surepath Financial Solutions, one of the Foreclosure Help agency partners. This San Jose homeowner fell behind in her property tax payments after a long period of unemployment. When her lender learned about the property tax arrears, it paid the taxes and then sought to collect the arrears from her. The lender began the formal foreclosure process when the homeowner could not afford to pay the arrears. Meanwhile, the homeowner had found new employment, but without intervention from Keep Your Home California to pay the arrears, she would have lost her home to foreclosure.

Surepath submitted a Keep Your Home California benefit request under the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program on behalf of the homeowner. This program, known as MRAP, provides a one-time payment of up to $25,000 to homeowners who are at least two payments behind on their mortgages but who can demonstrate current financial stability. In this case, MRAP paid all of the property tax arrears. With this help, the homeowner was able to maintain her current mortgage payments, and reached agreement with the lender to handle future property tax payments.

Not every homeowner facing foreclosure will qualify for Keep Your Home California benefits, but the Foreclosure Help Center can refer homeowners to counselors who will assess individual eligibility and make applications for benefits if appropriate.


According to a recent article in the Housing Wire, the answer is “yes”!  Traditionally, non-judicial foreclosure has been the approach preferred by California lenders and servicers.  This approach eliminates court oversight of the process, and restricts the rights of homeowners to assert defenses to the foreclosure.  However, abuses of this process by lenders and servicers produced the California Homeowner Bill of Rights.  This law imposed limitations and protections on this process to eliminate dual tracking, robo-signing, and other abuses.

According to this article, seeking to foreclose through judicial foreclosure which utilizes a legal action filed in the state court, eliminates the protections and procedural requirements now in place for non-judicial foreclosure under the HBOR.  To read the full article, see,

Despite the predictions in this article, our Foreclosure Help Center in Santa Clara County has not seen evidence of this trend.  Also, the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Regulations offer similar protections to homeowners regardless of whether judicial or nonjudicial foreclosure is utilized.  To read the Housing Wire article, see:


California law prohibits any person or company from collecting advance fees to help negotiate mortgage loan modifications.  This law, California Civil Code Section 2944.7, applies to realtors and attorneys. Despite this law, homeowners are still paying thousands of dollars to these scam artists who collect and then fail to perform or even disappear.  The lender or servicer holding the mortgage is proceeding with foreclosure, while the homeowner assumes the scam artists are protecting them.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney has actively pursued these law breakers.  Two recent cases brought by the DA’s Real Estate Fraud Unit illustrate the harm caused by these illegal practices.

In one case, the co-owners of M & R Contemporary Solutions, pled guilty to theft and foreclosure fraud charges related to a phony scheme that bilked approximately 400 mainly Hispanic homeowners of close to $2 million over a one year period.  Homeowners paid fees in the range of $3000 to $10,000 based on promises to save their homes, only to receive no help.

In another case, real estate agent Michael Mendoza was charged with six separate counts of collecting illegal fees and using unlicensed agents.  He and his company advertised widely, particularly on Spanish language radio and television stations throughout the Bay Area.

Even though the California law prohibiting advance fees has been in place since 2009, the Foreclosure Help Center continues to receive calls from homeowners who have already paid these illegal fees.


Free counseling from a HUD-approved agency is available through the Foreclosure Help Center.  Call the Center at 408-293-6000.

If you have paid an illegal advance fee, you can follow up with the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit at




Foreclosure rates in Silicon Valley are not dramatically better than those in other Northern California areas.

Silicon Valley has an image as an economic powerhouse, with high levels of employment and increasing home values. However, the foreclosure rate for the metropolitan area that encompasses Silicon Valley is not noticeably lower than the rates for other areas considered to be hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. A report just released by the Foreclosure-Response organization provides the foreclosure rates for all 366 U.S. Metropolitan areas as of September 2013. Full report. The current foreclosure rate for the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metro area is 2.3%, which is the same rate calculated for the SF-Oakland Metro area.  The Silicon Valley rate is just below the 2.4% rate for Chico, the 2.5% rate for Bakersfield and the 2.7% rate for Sacramento. The rate for Modesto is 3% and Stockton is 3.1%. None of the rates in these hard hit areas are dramatically higher than Silicon Valley.

The report also measured the improvement in the “serious delinquency” rate since the height of the foreclosure crisis in 2009. Serious delinquency is defined as 90 or more days delinquent. The improvement in the delinquency rate in Silicon Valley is actually less than the improvement in other metro areas. The San Jose Metro area serious delinquency rate in December 2009 was 7.8%. It is now 4%. In contrast, the serious delinquency rate for Stockton dropped from 18.5% to 6.1%. In the Modesto Metro area, the delinquency rate fell from 17.3 to 5.8%. As is true in the comparative foreclosure rates, the current delinquency rates in all three of these areas are now similar, contrasting with the sharply higher delinquency rates for these other areas in 2009.


As we all know, the mortgage scam artists constantly invent ways to attract paying customers. Here is a new one to avoid.

Several laws protect homeowners facing foreclosure by requiring lenders and loan servicers to give the homeowner a “single point of contact” within their organizations. This protection is crucial to prevent harmful lender practices such as dual tracking and misplaced modification applications.

We have now learned that profit-motivated third parties are contacting homeowners and leading them to believe they are the point of contact for the lenders and servicers who hold their mortgages. They are asking for private information from the homeowners, and may ultimately ask for fees. As a minimum, this scam activity can confuse homeowners and lead them to waste time that should be spent contacting legitimate representatives.
Homeowners should never deal with someone directly calling who is claiming to be a point of contact.

A legitimate point of contact representative should be identified in an official letter from the lender or servicer, with appropriate contact details included.

This type of scam is another good reason to contact a HUD-approved counseling agency. That agency can communicate with the lender or servicer to verify the point of contact representative and to submit the homeowner’s personal information safely and confidentially. A homeowner who is contacted by one of these scam artists should report the contact to his or her counseling agency, a non-profit legal services agency, or the local district attorney.

Homeowners May Face An Unexpected Tax Bill

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act has been allowed to expire.  Before this law was passed in 2007, a homeowner who had a portion of his or her mortgage written off by a lender was considered to have received a taxable benefit equal to the amount of debt forgiven.   This rule applied to short sales, some types of modifications, and other forms of foreclosure work out options where a portion of the mortgage debt was waived.  As a result, before this Act, a homeowner could lose his or her home and still pay taxes on the amount of the home mortgage that was unpaid.  The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act waived the taxable status of the event, which has been an important incentive to utilize foreclosure prevention options.

The Act had been routinely extended from 2007 until the end of 2013, but has now been allowed to expire.  There are bills pending in congress to re-authorize the Act, and there is another IRS rule for “insolvency” that could protect some of the same transactions.  However, every homeowner facing foreclosure should seek advice from a tax professional to address the implications of the expiration of the Act.  Many members of the real estate and mortgage industry are not aware of these implications.

For more details, click here,
For a different point of view, see the discussion here, 

Join us for our Housing Stabilization Workshop Series!

Join us this weekend Saturday, September 28th, 2013 at MACSA for our Housing Stabilization Workshop Series! This weeks workshop is titled “Taking over your finances: How to live within your means”. This workshop is FREE to all. There will be light refreshments and snacks. The workshop will be located at 660 Sinclair Drive, San Jose, CA 95116. Please call 408-293-6000 to register!


¡Únase a nosotros este fin de semana Sábado, 28 de septiembre 2013 a MACSA para nuestro Taller de Estabilización de Vivienda!  Este taller se titula “Hacerse cargo de sus finanzas: ¿Cómo vivir dentro de sus medios”. Este taller es gratuito para todos. Habrá refrescos y aperitivos. El taller se encuentra a 660 Sinclair Drive, San Jose, CA 95116. Por favor llame 408-293-6000 para registrarse!


Únase a nosotros este fin de semana Sábado, 28 de septiembre 2013 a MACSA para nuestra vivienda Estabilización Workshop Series! Este taller semana se titula “Hacerse cargo de sus finanzas: ¿Cómo vivir dentro de sus medios”. Este taller es gratuito para todos. Habrá refrescos y aperitivos. El taller se encuentra a 660 Sinclair Drive, San Jose, CA 95116. Por favor llame 408-293-6000 para registrarse!


La Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios de California

Esta explicación de la Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios fue preparada por: El Proyecto Legal de Viviendas Justas.

Creative Commons LicenseLa Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios de California by El Proyecto Legal de Viviendas Justas. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

La “Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios” de California (HBOR) agrega nuevas medidas de protección para ayudar a prevenir las ejecuciones hipotecarias evitables. HBOR requiere que los administradores de préstamos y prestamistas provean notificaciones adicionales para que los prestatarios conozcan sus derechos y cómo ponerse en contacto con su administrador de préstamos para obtener una modificación de préstamo u otro tipo de ayuda para prevenir la ejecución.

HBOR impide que “Doble Seguimiento” (“Dual Tracking”) donde los administradores de préstamos ponen a los propietarios  en el camino hacia la ejecución hipotecaria, aún cuando se está evaluando una solicitud de modificación de préstamo.  HBOR requiere que los administradores brinden un solo punto de contacto consistente para ayudar a los prestatarios durante  la evaluación de la solicitud y la ejecución hipotecaria.  HBOR también requiere que los prestamistas proporcionen la documentación adecuada antes de que puedan ejecutar la hipoteca, y les dará las herramientas a los prestatarios para que ellos puedan imponer sus derechos.

Antes de archivar una notificación de incumplimiento (NOD), y por lo menos 30 días antes de la inscripción de una NOD, el administrador debe enviar una notificación por escrito al prestatario que indica que si el prestatario es un miembro del servicio militar o dependiente de un miembro del servicio militar, él o ella puede tener derecho a ciertas protecciones. La notificación también debe informar a los prestatarios (tanto militares como no militares) que tienen el derecho de solicitar y obtener documentos fundamentales del préstamo y un historial de sus pagos.

Si el prestamista ya ha archivado una notificación de incumplimiento (NOD), el administrador debe enviar una carta al prestatario dentro de 5 días hábiles después de la inscripción del NOD. La carta debe notificarle al prestatario que él o ella puede ser evaluado/a para una alternativa  a una ejecución hipotecaria; declarar si se requiera una solicitud para ser considerado; y describir el proceso por el cual un prestatario puede obtener una solicitud.

Requisitos fundamentales y protecciones bajo HBOR

  • HBOR requiere que los administradores reconozcan que recibieron su solicitud y les prohíbe continuar con el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria mientras se evalúa su elegibilidad.
  • Si usted presenta una solicitud, el administrador debe confirmar por escrito la recepción de su documentación dentro de 5 días hábiles de la fecha en la que fue recibida.  El aviso debe también darle información sobre el proceso de aplicación, avisarle de necesitar un documento que falte para completar la aplicación y darle una fecha límite para presentar esos documentos.
  • Usted debe ser informado de una u otra forma de la decisión tomada por su prestamista. Los prestatarios que presenten una solicitud completa deben obtener una decisión de “sí” o “no” por parte del administrador antes de que éste pueda iniciar o continuar con el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria. La negación deberá incluir una explicación detallada de su decisión.
  • HBOR detiene la ejecución hipotecaria mientras que usted espera por una decisión. Una vez que haya enviado una solicitud de modificación de préstamo completa, el administrador no puede presentar o continuar con una ejecución hipotecaria hasta que su prestamista le ha dado una decisión sobre su modificación.
  • HBOR detiene la ejecución hipotecaria si usted califica por, acepta y mantiene al día el préstamo modificado. Si el prestamista dice que usted reúne los requisitos y usted acepta una oferta, el prestamista
    no puede proceder con la ejecución hipotecaria, siempre y cuando mantenga el pago a tiempo y según lo acordado en la modificación.
  • Usted tiene 14 días para aceptar una oferta de modificación sobre el primer préstamo. Si usted no acepta la modificación, su administrador puede proceder con el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria 14 días después de la oferta de modificación sobre el primer préstamo.
  • Los administradores  no pueden cobrarle una tarifa para solicitar una modificación de préstamo u otro tipo de ayuda.
  • Cargos por pagos atrasados no se pueden aplicar por los periodos durante los cuales una solicitud está siendo considerada, durante una apelación, o mientras que los pagos de modificación del préstamo se están haciendo a tiempo.
  • Si se le concede una modificación u otro tipo de ayuda y el préstamo es vendido o transferido, el administrador  posterior debe honrar el acuerdo.
  • HBOR no requiere que un administrador le ofrezca una modificación de préstamo, si éste no participa en ningún programa de este tipo, o si usted no cumple con los requisitos de elegibilidad aplicables.
  • El deber de ofrecer la oportunidad de aplicar para alternativas de una ejecución hipotecaria, si están disponibles a través del prestamista, se limita a los primeros préstamos.

El Proyecto Legal de Viviendas Justas es miembro de ForeclosureHelpSCC, un programa comunitario que ayuda a los propietarios de viviendas e inquilinos que enfrentan una ejecución hipotecaria. Si usted está enfrentando una ejecución hipotecaria, hay profesionales certificados que pueden ayudarle a entender sus opciones para evitar la ejecución hipotecaria, incluso a través de una modificación de préstamo. Llame a la línea directa: 408-293-6000, visite el sitio web:, o envíe un correo electrónico:


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.