Six Reasons to Deal with Your Foreclosure Problem Today, not Tomorrow

Deal with your Foreclosure Today, not TomorrowBy Sean Coffey, Program Manager at Foreclosure Help

Editor’s Note: Foreclosure Help is a program funded by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale, California, to assist  homeowners and tenants in these two cities.  If you are outside of San Jose or Sunnyvale, we suggest locating the nearest HUD-approved housing counseling agency on the HUD website:   HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies.

1) It’s almost impossible to stop a trustee sale at the last minute:   We have had a number of homeowners in San Jose or Sunnyvale who contacted Foreclosure Help a week before the trustee sale, or even a day or two before the trustee sale.  While we will make every effort to assist them, the unfortunate truth is that options become very limited the closer you are to a foreclosure trustee sale.   The bank/servicer can’t necessarily postpone the sale if it’s too close to the sale date (because of their internal policies), and there isn’t time to get your documents together and submitted and accepted by the bank or servicer.  While we can try and overcome some of these obstacles, it is far less stressful and you increase your chances of success if you can begin working with a housing counselor when you first have problems with your mortgage.  Filing bankruptcy may be an option to stop your trustee sale, but it’s better if you’re making the decision to file bankruptcy because you’ve considered all your other options and it makes the most sense in your situation.  Filing bankruptcy also takes time to do, and filing it a week or two before your trustee sale (instead of trying to do it the day before) will give you the time you need to meet with a reputable attorney, get your paperwork together, etc.

2) Don’t let “bank run-around fatigue” be the reason that you let go of your home.   In the beginning of the foreclosure crisis, many homeowners I spoke with had no idea where to turn, what to do, or how to work with their bank.  Now, in 2013, most of the homeowners that contact our program have already tried working with their bank once or twice to request a modification.  They may have been denied a modification for any number of reasons, including:

  • The bank or servicer said the package was incomplete (even though you may have sent the same documents to them multiple times).
  • The bank or servicer said that the Net Present Value (NPV) test was negative.
  • The bank or servicer did not give a reason.
  • The bank said they would call me, but they didn’t, so I assumed they were working on it, but it turns out they weren’t, and my file was closed.
  • My income wasn’t sufficient when I first submitted my request.

These are all complaints that homeowners cite when we ask if they’ve tried to modify their loans before.   This is where working with a HUD-approved housing counselor can be so important.  While you as a homeowner are only working on one mortgage, a certified housing counselor has likely worked with hundreds of homeowners before your case.  This means they bring experience and expertise in assisting you, can help you put together a complete and accurate package to send to your bank or servicer, will work with you on your budget to increase your chances of a modification, and often have contacts/channels at banks or servicers that ordinary homeowners (or “expert loan modification companies”) do not have access to.

3. If you’re able to hold on, the market is improving.   Ask any real estate agent in San Jose or Sunnyvale about the market right now, and you’ll hear how dramatically it’s improving.   If you’re able to get a modification from your bank so that you can continue making payments, then you will have time for the equity in your home to increase as the market continues to improve.

4. Foreclosure Stress is not good for you or your family.  You’ve probably heard that money issues are one of the biggest stresses in a marriage.  It is incredibly stressful to deal with foreclosure, mortgage, and money issues, and it impacts the entire family.  Part of the stress may be the uncertainty you feel about whether or not you have a real chance at a modification and holding on to your home.  By working with one of our HUD-approved housing counselors, you’ll get a much better understanding of the programs that exist like HAMP, Keep Your Home California, HARP, etc.

Instead of wondering about your eligibility for these programs and whether or not they could have helped you save your home, come meet with a housing counselor who will give you a direct, unbiased assessment of your situation.   While we can’t guarantee a loan modification (and we’d recommend running away from anybody who guarantees you a loan modification) , we can help you understand your eligibility for programs and how to be a successful candidate for a loan modification.

5. Your friend means well, but they don’t know what they’re doing:  You may have had offers of help from a friend who is an attorney or a real estate agent who thinks they can help you.   While they may have good intentions, the end result is often ugly.  We’ve had a number of homeowners who contact us after a failed attempt at a modification by an attorney or a loan modification expert.   Sometimes they’ve paid for the modification, sometimes it was done for free.   (As a side note it is ILLEGAL in California to charge an upfront fee for a loan modification).

The bottom line is that you want to work with a housing counselor who knows the programs inside and out, who doesn’t have an incentive to “sell” you on a particular solution (like a short sell), and who knows the foreclosure timeline and process in California.   Good intentions are nice for birthday presents and greeting cards, but when it’s your home on the line, you need to seek out expert, trained, and certified counselors.

6. Our services are already paid for by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale through a grant:  This mean we don’t charge homeowners for our services.  This means our housing counselors can give you an honest, up-front assessment of your situation and they’re not financially motivated to try and steer you towards a certain outcome.

Call us at: 408-293-6000, visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org, or send us an email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.   The sooner you call us, the more options you have and the more helpful we can be.

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 our website: 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.

Great news from Keep Your Home California- Wells Fargo is also participating in the Principal Reduction Program!

Keep Your Home California

ImageWelcome, Wells Fargo.

The banking giant – best known for its decades-old stagecoach marketing campaign – has joined Keep Your Home California’s Principal Reduction Program, which offers homeowners as much as $100,000 to reduce their mortgage principal and monthly payments.

Keep Your Home California is anticipating the bank’s participation will lead to many more homeowners applying for mortgage assistance and allow them to get the help they need. If approved for the program, homeowners can save hundreds of dollars every month and tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage.

Wells Fargo joins several other major banks, including Bank of America and Chase participating in the Principal Reduction Program.

Keep Your Home California has made some big changes to the Principal Reduction Program, all in an effort to attract and make it easier for homeowners and mortgage servicers.

Most notably, the program eliminated the dollar-for-dollar match requirement…

View original post 238 more words

Five Important Policy Updates For California Homeowners and Tenants in 2013 Related to Foreclosures, Short Sales, and the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights

New Laws in 2013 for California Homeowners

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager of ForeclosureHelpSCC

1) Independent Foreclosure Review: The New York Times broke the news on December 31 that the Independent Foreclosure Review may be replaced.  The article explains that regulators and banking officials have been meeting in hopes of designing a less cumbersome, less expensive way of compensating homeowners who were improperly foreclosed on by their banks or servicers.  During the few weeks leading up to the December 31st deadline for the Independent Foreclosure Review, we received an increase in phone calls and google searches which went to our blog pages explaining how to apply for the Independent Foreclosure Review.

However, we were also very concerned about the many shortcomings of the review (read our compilation of media reports at a previous blog posting: “7 Reasons to Postpone the Independent Foreclosure Review”), and so we created a petition on Change.org asking regulators to postpone the deadline until after they had released the results of at least 215,000 cases.   The regulators in charge of the program have not yet released any information about their plans, and we suggest that homeowners and former homeowners continue watching the news, checking our blog, and checking the website for the Independent Foreclosure Review for any updates.

2) Mortgage Debt Forgiveness: Housing Wire reports that the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act was extended for another year.  This is an important policy win for homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages because without this extension, debt forgiveness from a modification, short sale, or foreclosure would have been taxed in 2013. For more information, visit our previous blog: Foreclosures in San Jose and Sunnyvale: Three Reasons Time is Not on Your Side

3) Unemployment benefits were also extended as part of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations.  Homeowners in California who are struggling to pay their mortgage should consider applying for the Keep Your Home California Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program.  More information at our previous blog here: “Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, Part of Keep Your Home California: How Does It Work?”

4) The California Foreclosure Refund deadline is fast approaching- it’s January 18, 2013.  As part of the Attorney General Settlement, there is a foreclosure refund for homeowners who were improperly foreclosed on by one of the large five banks (Ally/GMAC (800-766-4622), Bank of America/Countrywide (877-488-7814), Citibank (866-272-4749), JPMorgan Chase (866-372-6901) and Wells Fargo/Wachovia (800-288-3212).  For more information, see our previous blog: “California Foreclosure Refund Program, Part of the Attorney General Settlement”

5) Homeowner’s Bill of Rights:  This set of laws went into effect on January 1, 2013, and are designed to address the many loan servicing abuses that homeowners have experienced since the foreclosure crisis began.  These include “dual-tracking” (processing a foreclosure while a modification request is also being considered), having to speak with multiple people at their bank or servicer (banks and servicers are now supposed to provide a single point of contact), and other provisions.  In addition, when a person purchases a foreclosed home in California, if there are existing tenants, the new owner must give them a 90 day eviction notice.  This is an additional 30 days more than the previous 60 day requirement.  For more information, visit the Attorney General’s website: California Homeowner Bill of Rights.

I wrote my master’s thesis on similar legislation enacted in North Carolina, and one of the big “take-aways” from my research is that these types of laws are only effective to the extent that homeowners know about their rights under the law, and have the knowledge to complain to regulators when the law isn’t being followed or the ability to hire an attorney and sue their bank or servicer.  So, ForeclosureHelp will be making strong efforts to educate homeowners about their rights under this new legislation.

California Homeowners should also know that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is also proposing mortgage servicing regulations, nicknamed the “no run-around” rules.  Homeowners can also file a RESPA request if they are seeking information from their bank or servicer, or if there is a dispute about payments being credited, etc.  For more information, see our previous post: “New Mortgage Servicing Rules Proposed- What Does it Mean for You? Part 2 of 2”

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 our website: 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.

Helpful Resources if You’re Facing Foreclosure By Foreclosure Help SCC

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager of ForeclosureHelpSCC

As 2012 draws to a close, it’s worth taking a quick snap-shot of the past year.  Pete Carey wrote earlier this week in the San Jose Mercury News about the reduction in foreclosures during the month of November, and we hope that this trend continues.

We also want to highlight a few blog postings written for homeowners by the certified housing counselors who staff the ForeclosureHelpSCC program:

Time Sensitive issues for homeowners:

Independent Foreclosure Review:  The deadline for this program is December 31, 2012.  To learn more about this program (eligible homeowners could receive $500 to $125,000 plus lost equity), visit our earlier blog postings:

California Foreclosure Refund:  Also designed for homeowners who dealt with an improper foreclosure, but this program is limited to the big five banks.  The deadline for this program is January 18, 2013.  For more information, read our blog on it: California Foreclosure Refund Program, Part of the Attorney General Settlement

Keep Your Home California: Unemployment Assistance Program.  Aurora Olivares, one of the housing counselors who staffs the Foreclosure Help program, wrote an excellent overview of this program: “Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, Part of Keep Your Home California: How Does It Work?”  With recent estimates that 400,000 Californians could lose their unemployment benefits unless Congress extends them, it is particularly important for homeowners who are unemployed to get their applications in NOW while they are still receiving unemployment.  A homeowner WILL NOT qualify for Keep Your Home California Unemployment Assistance program unless they are receiving or are approved for unemployment benefits.

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act: This has not yet been extended, but we are hopeful that it will be tied into the current negotiations about the fiscal cliff.  For more information about why this is so important, visit: “Foreclosures in San Jose and Sunnyvale: Three Reasons Time is Not on Your Side”

General Resources for Homeowners from our blog this year (A big THANK YOU to the certified housing counselors from Asian Inc, Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley, Project Sentinel, and SurePath Financial Solutions for writing these posts).

1) Credit Repair, Credit Issues, Rebuilding Your Credit, Pulling Your Credit Report:

2) How to work with your bank when you are seeking a modification:

3. Advantages of Working with a certified housing counselor from a HUD-approved agency:

4) Renting after a foreclosure or short sale:   Help with rental assistance after a foreclosure – What’s out there?

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 our website: 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.

What is a Credit Report and Why is it Important to You?

Why is a credit report important?Editor’s note: If you haven’t applied for the Independent Foreclosure Review yet, there is still time, but the deadline is December 31, 2012.  For more information, visit our blog: Independent Foreclosure Review Deadline is December 31, 2012. Learn How to Apply Here.  Spanish: La fecha límite para La Revisión Independiente de la Ejecución Hipotecaria es el 31 de diciembre 2012. Aprender a aplicar aquí!  Or visit the website: www.independentforeclosurereview.com, or call the program: 1-888-952-9105

By JoAnn Parrott, Housing Counselor at Project Sentinel, one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC.

A credit report is more than a collection of financial information and statistics. A credit report displays and represents your financial picture.   A credit report is an accounting of how you have handled your past finances and debt and is a gauge of how you will continue to do so in the future. The credit report determines if you are credit worthy or may be a credit risk to those who offer credit (also known as creditors).  The credit report helps creditors decide who gets credit or who does not.

If you have been financially responsible in the past and have good credit, you probably don’t think twice about credit.  It is just there for you whenever needed.    However, if you have no credit or poor credit, managing your daily financial life may be difficult.

WHAT IS IN A CREDIT REPORT?

If you have never applied for personal credit, you probably don’t have a credit report history.  But, if you have applied for and used credit in the past, a basic credit report consists of your name, current and recent addresses, Social Security Number, date of birth and current and previous employers.  The report also displays each credit account registered in your name,  the date the account was opened, the credit limit on a credit card or loan, the payment terms, the balance owed, the monthly payment amount, and a record of your payment history (i.e., how many times you paid on time or were late).  This information is contained in your credit report even if you personally have not applied for credit but have agreed to be a co-signer or authorized user on someone else’s credit account.

TIP:   If you are a co-signer on a credit card or loan account, you are responsible for the debt if the other party fails to keep the monthly payments current.  If you are an authorized user, you are not responsible for the monthly payments or the balance due if the account is not kept current.  So, be VERY careful about agreeing to be a co-signer on an application for credit.

A credit report also lists each time you have applied for credit – these are known as ‘inquiries.’  By viewing the ‘inquiries’, creditors can determine if you have applied for too much credit or have been recently approved for additional credit. If the number of applications or approvals is too high, creditors may deny you if it appears you are trying to acquire too much credit too quickly.

TIP:  This can happen to new homeowners or young adults when they want to decorate a new home or apartment.  If you apply for and are denied credit, this may have a negative impact on your credit report and credit score.

WHAT IS NOT IN A CREDIT REPORT?

Information NOT contained in a credit report consists of checking and saving account balances, bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old, charged-off debts or debts placed for collection that are more than seven years old, gender, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, medical history or criminal records.  Judgments generally remain on a credit report for 7 years from the date filed, whether the debt was paid or not.  If paid, the judgment entry changes from UNSATISFIED to SATISFIED but still remains for the required length of time.  Unpaid tax liens remain indefinitely.

NO CREDIT?  WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

In the everyday world of credit, there are two types of credit cards and loans – Secured and Unsecured.

SECURED CREDIT CARD If you have poor credit or no credit and know you will have a need, you may want to apply for a secured credit card.   A secured credit card is an account in which you deposit your own money (generally a minimum amount) to be used for future credit transactions.   A secured credit card gives you the ability to use the money (up to a certain amount) as a credit card – i.e. charge movie tickets or order a pizza – until you can apply for a less restrictive unsecured credit card.  Most secured credit cards do not allow the total amount of money deposited into the account to be consumed by charge transactions.

The creditor retains a portion of the money as a ‘cushion’ to cover unexpected events, such as non-payment.  If your charges exceed the allowed amount, there can be substantial fees and penalties applied.  If you don’t keep the account in good standing, the creditor can deny future credit transactions you attempt to do.  Not a happy thought if you want to treat a friend to lunch and your card is denied!  In some cases, if the past due amount becomes too high; the account may be closed or suspended.  The account will continue to accrue interest charges, fees and may even be subject to collection action.  Most secured credit cards also carry annual expense fees.

TIP:   Secured credit cards physically look the same as unsecured credit cards.  There is no way of telling that your card is a secured card.  After a period of time if you have established a positive payment history and adhered to the secured credit card terms, you may apply for an unsecured credit card or loan.  There is no specific time period to do this.  Just be cautious about applying for too many cards.

SECURED CREDIT LOAN: This type of loan is used for high dollar purchases that cannot be paid in full each month – i.e. the purchase of a car or house.  This type of loan is for a specific dollar amount and time period.  If the loan payments are not kept current, the owner of the loan can repossess or take back the item – i.e. the car.  In this case, the car is security for the debt.   Generally without exception, a mortgage loan is secured by the property.  If the mortgage payments are not made, the mortgage holder will take the property in a foreclosure sale.

UNSECURED CREDIT CARD:   An unsecured credit card is a line of credit that is available to you with no restrictions (up to the credit limit), as long as the account is in good standing.   For example, if you charge the purchase of clothing on your unsecured credit card and you don’t pay the full or minimum amount by the Due Date,  the creditor will not repossess or take back the clothes.  However, the account could still be assessed fees and penalties and may be closed or suspended if the matter is not resolved.  Any past due payments will be recorded on your credit report.

UNSECURED CREDIT LOAN:    This type of loan can be for any amount and time period, but is generally not a standard product offered by creditors for large loan amounts.   Creditors want their loans secured by an item of value if there is a default on the account.  The best use of this loan type would be for personal loans among family members or friends where, if payments are not made, no property is attached to the loan and therefore there is no repossession.

TIP:  For most secure and unsecured credit card accounts, it is recommended that the full amount charged be paid in full each month to avoid interest charges and to assist in building a good credit history.  Keeping  any loan in good standing is a good idea.

HOW TO GET A COPY OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT?

On November 22, 2003, through the Fair and Accurate Transaction (FACT) Act, consumers were given the right to obtain a free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the 3 major credit bureaus.  These credit bureaus collect and analyze credit transactions for their clients (AKA creditors) i.e., banks, credit unions, and retail establishments for example.    The 3 major bureaus are:  Experian (www.experian.com, 1-888-397-3742), TransUnion (www.transunion.com, 1-800-916-8800), and Equifax (www.equifax.com, 1-800-685-1111).

To obtain a copy of your credit report or reports, you can contact the credit bureaus directly, visit their websites, or use the website:  www.annualcreditreport.com .  This website provides access to each credit bureau report.  A consumer can apply online for a single report or for all 3 reports at the same time.  There are companies who will help you track the contact and accuracy of your credit report for a fee.

TIP:  It is recommended that a consumer stagger their credit report requests every 4 months between each bureau.  In most cases, the same credit information is on each bureau’s report, but sometimes in a slightly different format.  By staggering the reports, a consumer can track activity over the time period as well as the contact of each report.

TIP:  Each time YOU look at your own credit report, there is no ‘inquiry’ activity recorded. However, each time you apply for credit through a third party, there is an ‘inquiry’ recorded.  So, if you apply for too much credit, the next third party you apply to will see the ‘inquiry’ activity and possibly may deny the application for credit due to excessive applications.  Also, there is a chance that the volume of applications may affect your FICO score.  BE CREDIT SMART!

WHAT IS A FICO CREDIT SCORE AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Attached to each report is a credit score known as a FICO (Fair Issac Corporation) score.  The FICO score can range from 300 to 850, but the majority of scores usually fall within the 600s and 700s.  Your goal is to have the highest number possible based on your use of credit and the history contained in your credit report.  Each one of the credit bureaus has their own FICO score criteria.  A FICO score may differ between the 3 credit bureaus because not all creditors submit to each bureau.

A FICO score is a combination of many credit associated items.  Based on the type of credit, a FICO score is made up of the following percentages:

  • 35% for history;
  • 15% for length of credit;
  • 10% for newly acquired credit;
  • 10% for types of credit; and
  • 30% for amount of debt owned on credit cards and loans.   A few examples of what can lower a FICO score are:  late payments, too high of credit used against credit limit, past due payments, too many credit cards, judgments, collections, or too many applications for credit.

It is possible to obtain your FICO score by contacting each credit bureau for their process or at the www.annualcreditreportcom website, but there is a fee.  However, if you pay a credit reporting and tracking agency, you may be able to obtain the FICO score free of charge.

If you discover errors within your credit report, you should contact the providing bureau directly.  If they don’t correct the errors, you can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) at 1-855-411-2372 or TTY/TDD 1-855-729-2372 and/or file a complaint with the CFPB at  http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/headline-now-accepting-credit-reporting-complaints/ ; or send a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P. O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.

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 our website: 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.

5 Programas importante para los propietarios de California

Programs to help with foreclosure

Para los duenos de vivienda en el estado de California que están preocupados de su hipoteca, hay 5 programas que debe conocer.

1. Acuerdo del Fiscal General (Attorney General Settlement)
Visita: Sitio del Fiscal General que vigila el cumplimiento: www.californiamonitor.org. Email: CAMonitor@doj.ca.gov.
Visita: www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com
Expiración: La expiración del reembolso de la ejecución hipotecaria es 18 de enero 2013

El acuerdo con Chase, Ally / GMAC, Bank of America, Citibank y Wells Fargo incluye 3 partes:

A)
$ 3 billones en refinanciamiento para los propietarios de viviendas que tienen una propiedad que vale menos del balance que se debe en la casa

B) $ 17 billones en modificaciones de hipoteca, reducciones principales, y las ventas cortas

C) $ 1.5 billones en reembolsos de exclusión para las personas que perdieron sus viviendas inapropiadamente entre 1 de enero de 2008 y el 31 de diciembre 2012 .  Para el programa de reembolso para la ejecución hipotecaria, puede recibir un formulario de solicitud por correo (se enviaron por correo a principios de este mes). Si usted no recibe una carta antes del 31 de octubre de 2012, o si usted tiene una dirección diferente ahora, póngase en contacto con el Administrador del Acuerdo Nacional (National Settlement Administrator ) al1-866-430-8358 o enviar un correo electrónico con su dirección postal actual para administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com . Una vez que reciba la carta en el correo, usted tendrá que completar el formulario y enviarlo por correo, o también se puede llenar en línea (pero necesitará el número de reclamo de la carta que recibió, así que no lo vaya a descartar). Más instrucciones: https://nationalmortgagesettlementclaim.com/. Para las otras dos partes de la solución (modificaciones de refinanciación y préstamos), usted puede contactar a su prestamista directamente para preguntar sobre su elegibilidad y preguntar sobre cuando el banco  a implementar estas opciones. Es un proceso de 3 años, y tendrá que ser paciente.

2. Bill de los Derechos de Propietarios (Homeowner’s Bill of Rights)
Visita: www.oag.ca.gov/hbor
Esta nueva ley restringe la doble vía ejecuciones hipotecarias, donde una ejecución hipotecaria ocurre al mismo tiempo que la solicitud de modificación está pendiente. Esta ley también garantiza a los propietarios un único punto de contacto con su prestamista, así como otras protecciones.  El Proyecto de Ley de los Derechos Propietarios entra en vigor el 1 de enero de 2013.

3. Revisión Independiente ejecución de una hipoteca (Independent Foreclosure Review)
Visita: www.independentforeclosurereview.com
Llame al: 1-888-952-9105
Fecha límite: 31 de diciembre 2012
La Revisión Independiente Ejecución de una hipoteca es un acuerdo entre las autoridades federales y 14 bancos e incluye una investigación sobre los modos que  procesaron las modificaciones y las ejecuciones hipotecarias en 2009 y 2010. Si un dueño de casa (casa principal) estaba en algún tipo de “acción de ejecución hipotecaria” con uno de los 14 bancos / administradores entre las fechas  del 1 de enero, 2009 a diciembre 31,  2010, y siente que fue indebidamente procesada, favor de completar la aplicación.  Si las revisiones encontrar el procesamiento indebido, un propietario podría recibir una compensación de entre $1,000 a $125, 000. Una acción de ejecución hipotecaria no significa necesariamente que la casa fue vendida, el propietario podría seguir viviendo en el hogar.

4. Conserva Tu Casa California (Keep Your Home California)
Visita: www.conservatucasacalifornia.org y www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org
Llame al: 1-888-954-5337
California recibió casi $2 mil millones en fondos para ayudar a los propietarios de California elegibles evitar ejecuciones hipotecarias evitables. El programa Keep Your Home California se compone de 4 opciones que ayudan a los propietarios de ingresos bajos y moderados conservar sus hogares si han sufrido una dificultad financiera, como el desempleo,  enfermedad, o están en riesgo de incumplimiento debido a una economía dificultades, junto con una disminución severa en el valor de su casa.

5. Haciendo Tu Casa Asequible (Making Home Affordable HAMP and HARP programs)
Visita: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov (Spanish)  or www.makinghomeaffordable.gov (English)   Llame al: 888-995-4673
Propietarios de hogar pueden reducir sus pagos mensuales de la hipoteca y modificar sus préstamos a más bajas tasas estables de hoy. Para los propietarios para los que la propiedad de vivienda ya no es asequible o deseable, el programa puede proporcionar una salida que evite una ejecución hipotecaria.

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 a 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 a 6000, o visite nuestro sitio: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org o envíenos un correo electrónico: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

October 20th Foreclosure Prevention Resource Fair Agenda

The ForeclosureHelpSCC Consortium is sponsoring a FREE foreclosure prevention resource fair on October 20th at Overfelt High School.  Housing counselors from HUD-approved agencies will be on-site to meet with homeowners on a first-come, first served basis from 9:00am to 2:15pm.  For more information, call (408) 293-6000, or visit our event webpage.  In addition to housing counseling, homeowners can attend and hear practical advice on a variety of topics related to housing.  The event is free and open to the public.

Agenda for Foreclosure Fair

9:30AM  Facing Foreclosure? What Steps Should you Take and Keep Your Home California

10:15AM Legal Issues You Need to Know About

11:15AM Presentation about the ForeclosureHelpSCC Program

11:45AM Roundtable With Representatives from Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo

12:30PM Bankruptcy and Tax Issues You Need to Know About:

1:30PM Renters Rights and Renting after a Foreclosure or Short Sale

2:30PM Buying Again: What Do You Need to Know and Do Now to Become a Homeowner Again

Day Concludes