Keep Your Home California Program is Over

This blog featured a number of posts about the Keep Your Home California program and how its various programs could help homeowners in California who were possibly going to lose their homes.

In case you missed the announcement in August, 2018, the program is over and is no longer accepting applications. (More here)

More than 82,000 Californians benefited from this program.  You can learn more by reading The Economic Impact of Keep Your Home California: A Statewide and Regional Analysis.

Also, quarterly reports about the program are available on its website under the reports and statistics section.

If you’re a homeowner who used the program and have questions, there are still representatives available to answer your questions.

HOMEOWNERS SHARE THEIR MORTGAGE SITUATIONS AND HOW KEEP YOUR HOME CALIFORNIA HELPED

Will you be the next success story? Over 600 homeowners in Santa Clara County have already benefited from Keep Your Home California. (Conserva Tu Casa) The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program gives you breathing room by paying your mortgage for up to 9 months if you are receiving unemployment. Contact Keep Your Home California (888-954-5337) to learn more.

Check the Facts, Figures and How Keep Your Home California is Helping Homeowners

Have you heard about Keep Your Home California? It’s an important program to consider if you’re struggling with your mortgage, especially if it’s due to unemployment- their Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program can help keep you on your feet by paying your mortgage for up to 9 months.

NEW WEBSITE OFFERS 12 QUESTIONS THAT HELP HOMEOWNERS TO DETERMINE IF THEY MIGHT QUALIFY FOR AS MUCH AS $100,000 IN MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE

Have you heard about Keep Your Home California‘s new tool on their website?  Answer 12 questions to determine your eligibility for one of the four programs.

Spanish version: Conserva Tu Casa

Other Keep Your Home California Resources that may be helpful:

March Madness: 9 Important Updates on the Independent Foreclosure Review, Short Sales, Modifications, and Foreclosures

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager at Foreclosure Help

1) Foreclosure Reviews Update: Updated information about the Independent Foreclosure Review was released on February 28th (see our previous post: “Independent Foreclosure Review: Update on $3.6 Billion in Cash Payments and $5.7 Billion in Modification Assistance”).   The Wall Street Journal reported (“Foreclosure Files Detail Error Gap”)  that statistics cited by the Office of the Comptroller Currency in January (when they stopped the reviews) about the number of foreclosure errors made by the banks painted a more favorable picture of banks and servicers than was accurate.

According to the WSJ, the OCC said in January that 6.5% of files that had been reviewed had errors that would have required compensation, but then lowered that figure to 4.2%.  However, the WSJ points out that 11% of files reviewed by Wells Fargo and 9% of Bank of America had errors that would have required compensation to homeowners. Of the 6,983 files reviewed by PNC Financial Services, 23.9% had errors that would have required compensation.   Consultants who reviewed files were quoted in the article, one suggested that she saw error rates as high as 45-80% for certain batches of loans for Wells Fargo, while another who worked on reviews for Chase said that reviewers were told to avoid loans originated by EMC Mortgage.

Yves Smith, founder of the blog Naked Capitalism, has written extensively about the many issues with the Independent Foreclosure Review.  She explains in a recent post that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), have all requested additional information from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Comptroller of the Currency, Thomas Curry, about the review process and how the decision was made to end the reviews.  Smith suggests that whistle blowers should be invited in to discuss their work, and that files should be reviewed.

2) 30 Days to Process a Short Sale?  During a HousingWire webinar, Bill Carr, VP of short sales for Chase Bank explained that they are trying to close short sales in 30 days or less.  Some housing advocates have been concerned about the proportion of “housing relief” (required under the AG settlement and the updated Independent Foreclosure Review settlement) that banks and servicers are providing through short sales instead of modifications that would keep people in their homes.  Here in the Bay Area, a flood of all-cash investors is currently pushing out other potential buyers for short-sales and regular sales.  This influx of cash from hedge funds and from foreign countries is reducing the amount of affordable housing options available for first-time home buyers in San Jose and will likely mean an overall reduction in owner-occupied homes in San Jose.

3) National Consumer Protection Week: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has written a number of helpful posts on their blog during the past week as part of a series for National Consumer Protection Week.  We’ve highlighted a few below:

4) Keep Your Home California was featured in a guest Op-Ed by Claudia Cappio, the Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency, which manages Keep Your Home California.  She explains: “Keep Your Home California has assisted more than 22,000 homeowners, with $260 million since February 2011. We want to help many more.”  To read the whole article, visit: Modesto Bee: “Program helps keep struggling homeowners afloat”

5) Payday Lending in Sunnyvale: The Coalition Against Payday Predators (CAPP) reported that the Sunnyvale City Council voted to authorize a study to determine if the city council should regulate payday lenders in Sunnyvale.   CAPP also summarized interesting new research on payday lending from the Pew Charitable Trust’s Small Dollar Loans Research Project.  Fact number four was especially interesting: 27% of people who have received payday loans reported that they had overdrafts in their checking accounts as a result of a payday loan trying to withdraw funds.  This statistic appears to contradict the payday loan industry’s suggestions that payday loans are cheaper than overdrafts and help people avoid overdrafts: “Pew Charitable Trusts issues its second report on payday lending”

6) Too Big to Fail = Too Big to Jail?   This phrase was recently used by Senator Elizabeth Warren during a congressional hearing where she asked regulators about the percent of cases against financial executives that had actually gone to trial.   At a separate hearing, Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled about the fact that no Wall Street executives have landed in jail (yet) as a result of the financial meltdown.  Frontline’s recent series “The Untouchables” has focused on the lack of jail-time for Wall Street executives.  The show is free to watch on Frontline’s website.

7) Language Issues in Loan Servicing: National CAPACD wrote a guest Op-Ed about the fact that recent mortgage loan servicing standards failed to address language issues for homeowners who speak languages other than English.   Jane Duong explains:

“Banks have demonstrated the capacity to meet language needs when it comes to selling financial services, like originating new mortgages or opening bank accounts. The question however is once these new customers have difficulty making their mortgage payments, are the banks meeting their customers’ mortgage servicing needs?”

The issues addressed in her guest column are especially applicable here in San Jose, Sunnyvale and the rest of the Bay Area.   Homeowners who contact us at Foreclosure Help report that they appreciate being able to speak to housing counselors who speak their language, whether it’s English, Vietnamese, or Spanish.   The counselors also help translate materials on our blog like the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (English, Spanish, Vietnamese) which helps us get important information to more homeowners.  Read the full article here: Improving Language Access Can Prevent Foreclosures

8) 2012 “Report Card” on Programs to Reduce ForeclosuresProgress and Peril: A Status Report on the Compact for Home Opportunity” released by the Opportunity Agenda describes efforts made in 2012 to address foreclosures, restore communities affected by foreclosures and to keep homeownership accessible.   Policies/programs and their progress (or lack thereof) during the past year are addressed, including: mandatory mediation (prior to foreclosure); investing in pre-and post-purchase counseling; reforming mortgage loan servicing; using land banks to strengthen communities; improvements in credit-scoring; protecting tenants in foreclosure situations, and many more.  Read the full report: Progress and Peril: A Status Report on the Compact for Home Opportunity.

9) Slower Foreclosures for the Rich?  Marketwatch reported that some statistics suggest that homeowners in high-dollar homes are able to remain in their homes longer after they stop paying their mortgages, and may receive more favorable loan modifications.  The author cites RealtyTrac records for 2012, in which 85% of homes worth $1 million or less were eventually repossessed after receiving default notices.  However, for homes that are worth more than $1 million, only 28% were repossessed.  The article suggests that carrying costs are higher for these homes, the homes are more difficult to resell later, and when they are re-sold by the bank, it’s often at a substantial loss.  Wealthier homeowners may also be able to hire attorneys who can try to postpone the foreclosure.  Read more: “How luxury-home owners dodge foreclosure

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 and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit us: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org

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: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org or send us an email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.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 sitio:www.foreclosurehelpscc.org o envíenos un correo electrónico: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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: http://www.foreclosurehelpscc.org hoặc gửi email cho chúng tôi:help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

Six Things I wish I would have done differently: How to Avoid Foreclosure in San Jose and Sunnyvale

Foreclosure Regrets in San Jose and Sunnyvale

By Sean Coffey, Program Manger, Foreclosure Help

Unfortunately, some of the homeowners who call Foreclosure Help have already lost their house to foreclosure or are so close to a trustee sale that their only option to delay a trustee sale is to file bankruptcy.  Based on these conversations, we are providing a few points that might be helpful for people who are starting this process.  This is not legal advice/financial advice, and if you have questions, call us.

1) Deal with the problem earlier.   Meeting with a housing counselor can be one of the first steps to dealing with the problem.  Is the housing counselor going to have 100% good news?  Not necessarily, but they will provide you with a clear, unbiased,  analysis of your situation and what state programs (like Keep Your Home California) and federal programs (like the Making Home Affordable Program) could be helpful with your situation.  For example, if you were recently laid off, the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program, part of Keep Your Home California, could pay your mortgage for up to nine months while you secure a new job.   If keeping the home isn’t an option, counselors can discuss things you need to know about a short sale, and also discuss transition assistance programs, like Keep Your Home California’s Transition Assistance Program.

2) Made this process a priority.  There’s an old saying: “Nobody cares about your home like you do.”  If you are trying to address the situation, you’ll need to 100% engage in the process and “be in the driver’s seat” to make sure that the process continues moving forward.  You should not rely solely on your bank or your housing counselor to handle the problem for you. They are part of the process, but you need to be the driving force, making follow-up phone calls, checking in with your bank or servicer, and making sure that you spending sufficient time with the process, and that you are the “squeaky wheel that gets the grease.” 

 3)  Worked with a housing counselor from the beginning.  Our society has become very specialized- think about the number of specialized services that you rely on in a given week.  You have your car fixed by a mechanic because they know what they’re doing.  In working with a counselor from a HUD-approved agency, you are getting specialized services from a trained professional, who is bringing the skills, training, and contacts that can make the difference in getting your loan modified, getting honest advice about your situation, and escalating your case at the bank when necessary.   Housing counseling agencies are paid for through government and private grants, and this means they don’t have an incentive to “sell” you on a particular option.   Instead, they’ll give you an honest evaluation of your options and empower you to decide what you want to with your home.

 4) Got all of my paperwork together.   You are essentially asking the bank or servicer to re-write an IOU.  To do this, they are going to need all of your documents they requested, and you have a much higher chance of success if you get all of the documents together, send them all in at the same time, and have confirmation from the bank or servicer that they received the paperwork.   Are you going to send this paperwork in more than once?  Probably.   If you want the modification process to move forward, you need to get all of your paperwork together, organized, and into the bank or servicer, and getting it in a few days ahead of the deadline will give you a “buffer” in case the paperwork gets lost along the way.   Don’t forget to call 2-3 days after you mail in your paperwork, and confirm that they received all of the paperwork and that there is nothing else they need.

5) Not believed the “too good to be true” scam artist who promised to modify my loan.   It seems unbelievable that there are still scam artists going after homeowners in desperate situations.  And yet, we still see examples of these letters every week from homeowners who received them in the mail, with offers to modify loans or provide other “assistance.”   Phone calls, house visits, and even word-of-mouth referrals are another way that scam artists will contact you.

Reasons you should view all offers of “help” critically:

  • It is illegal in California to charge an upfront fee to modify a mortgage.
  • The foreclosure process doesn’t stop just because you hired a scam artist.   If you hire a scam company, and it takes you three months to figure out that they took your money and didn’t do anything, you are now 3 months into the foreclosure process, with fewer options, and more pressure from the bank.
  • If you’re spending money paying a scam artist, that’s less money that you have to pay your mortgage.
  • They will say whatever you want to hear, regardless of whether or not it’s true.  It would be great if 100% of people were going to get their loans modified, but the reality is that there are a number of other variables (like the NPV test, your income, who the investor is, whether or not your bank is participating in government programs, the size of your mortgage, etc) that will determine if and to what extent your loan is modified.  For these reasons, anybody who promises a loan modification is telling you a lie in order to get your business- and you should run away from them (and report them to the District Attorney).
  • There are FREE housing counselor services available that are paid for through a government grant. These skilled, experienced, counselors are from agencies certified by the federal government (HUD), and will provide you an unbiased analysis of your situation and options.

6)  Made a contact at the bank or servicer.  Think about all the jobs you’ve had.  Were there ever situations where your authority or discretion could help or hurt a customer?  Or, where you could share information with a customer that would help them better understand a process, product, or timeline?  Think of the waitress who tells you “No, you don’t want that meal, this other meal is our most popular.”  Now, apply that to your experience with the customer service person at the servicer or bank. If you can make “friends” with the person, they may be willing to share tips or strategies with you that can help you in this process.

While the new California Homeowner Bill of Rights  (Spanish: La Declaración de Derechos de los Propietarios de Vivienda en California and Vietnamese: Luật Dân Quyền cho Chủ Nhà ở trong Tiểu Bang) California mandates a single point of contact (and you should remind your bank or servicer about this), it’s also a good policy for you to try and develop a single point of contact at the bank who knows your story and who will be there throughout the process.

If you have questions, please contact your housing counselor directly, or call Foreclosure Help at 408-293-6000 or email us: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.  You can also visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org

If you are struggling with foreclosure in San Jose or Sunnyvale, please give us a call. The sooner you pick up the phone, the sooner we can help, and the earlier you start in the process, the more options you will have to create a plan forward.

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 and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit us: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

Our HUD-approved 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: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org or send us an email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

Nuestros consejeros aprobados por HUD 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 sitio:www.foreclosurehelpscc.org o envíenos un correo electrónico: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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: http://www.foreclosurehelpscc.org hoặc gửi email cho chúng tôi:help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

101 Banks and Servicers are now participating in Keep Your Home California. Learn more about how these 4 programs can help:

1) Catch up your late mortgage payments;
2) Pay your mortgage while you’re unemployed;
3) Have your principal reduced;
4) Receive money to help with your transition out of your home:

http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/