How Can the Consumer Financial Projection Bureau Assist You With Credit Reporting Issues? Our Blog Explains How.

Consumer Financial Protection BureauBy JoAnn Parrott, Housing Counselor at Project Sentinel, one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC.

WHAT IS THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU (CFPB)?

In July 2010, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Part of this Act created the CFPB which consolidates most Federal consumer financial protection authority into one place.  The services of the CFPG became effective on October 22, 2012.  The goal of the CFPB is:  watch out for American consumers in the market for consumer financial products and services.

HOW CAN THE CFPB HELP YOU WITH CREDIT REPORT PROBLEMS?

The CFPB can help with:

  1. Consumer reporting agency’s investigations,
  2. Incorrect credit report information,
  3. Improper use of a credit report,
  4. Assistance to get a copy of a credit score or report, and
  5. Problems with credit monitoring or identify protection services.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?

This step is covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  If you are experiencing any problems with your credit report, you should first of all send a letter to the credit bureau in question stating the complaint or error that needs to be addressed or resolved.  You must include copies of supporting documents as well as your complete name and address, and your letter should clearly identify each item in dispute.  You must request that the information be removed or corrected.  Send the letter by certified mail, ‘return receipt requested,’ so you can document that the credit bureau received the letter.

TIP:  Include a copy of the credit report with the error highlighted or circled and keep a copy of the letter and supporting documents.

If the credit bureau deems your complaint as legitimate, they have 30 days to investigate.  They must also forward the information you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information.  The information provider must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the credit bureau.  If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all the credit bureaus so they can correct the information they have in your file.

When the investigation is complete, the credit bureau must give you the results in writing and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change to your credit report.  This free credit report does not count as your annual free report.  If an item is changed or deleted, the credit bureau cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies it is accurate and complete.  The credit bureau also must send you written notice that includes the name, address, and phone number of the information provider.

If you wish, you can request that the credit bureau send notices of any corrections to anyone who received your credit report in the past six months.  You can have a corrected copy of your report sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes.

If the investigation doesn’t resolve your dispute or problem, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports.  You also can ask the credit bureau to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past.  You can expect to pay a fee for this service.

A credit bureau can report negative but correct information for seven years and bankruptcy information for 10 years.  There is no time limit for reporting criminal conviction; information reported in response to your application for a job that pays more than $75,000 a year; and information reported because you’ve applied for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance.  In general the seven-year reporting period runs from the date that the event took place.

WHAT IF THE PROBLEM IS NOT FIXED?

If the problem is not resolved, you can:

  1. Contact the CFPB at 1-855-411-2372 or TTY/TDD 1-855-729-2372;
  2. File a complaint with the CFPB at  http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/headline-now-accepting-credit-reporting-complaints/ ;
  3. Send a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P. O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.

You may also enjoy reading our previous blog post, “Rebuilding Credit After a Short Sale”  en español:  “Mejorando El Credito Despues De Una Ejecución De Hipoteca O Venta Corta”

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.

Lee nuestros otros blogs en ​​español:

¿Por Qué Trabajar Con Un Consejero de Casa?

5 Programas importante para los propietarios de California

Mejorando El Credito Despues De Una Ejecución De Hipoteca O Venta Corta

Mejorando Credit

By Aurora Olivares, Housing Counselor at Project Sentinel, one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC

Construir y mantener el crédito esta frecuente en las mentes de los dueños de casa aquí en San José y Sunnyvale. No es ningún secreto que su crédito recibe un golpe duro durante y después de una ejecución hipotecaria o venta corta. Cuando uno esta más de 30 días de atraso en su hipoteca, se reporta en su informe de crédito y su puntuación de crédito es afectado negativamente. Para obtener más información acerca de cómo una ejecución de hipoteca una ejecución de hipoteca, una venta corta sin una deficiencia, una venta corta con una deficiencia, y la bancarrota impactan a tres propietarios de viviendas típicos, lea las entrada de blog de FICO (Banking Analytics): “La investigación analiza cómo afecta la morosidad hipotecaria cuentas”

Los dueños de casa que no pueden pagar su hipoteca o conseguir un entrenamiento con sus prestamistas, pueden caer más atrasados ​​en sus pagos, y su reporte de crédito empeorará. El crédito del propietario de vivienda va ser afectado por todo este tiempo hasta que la delincuencia se resuelva.

Hay que avanzar rápidamente. ¿Qué sucede después de que alguien pasa por el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria?

Los procedimientos de la ejecución hipotecaria son reportados a la oficina de crédito por el prestamista y se anotará en su reporte de crédito durante los próximos 7 a 10 años. Sin embargo, esto no quiere decir que no se puede reconstruir su crédito después de una ejecución hipotecaria o venta corta y convertirse en propietario de una casa de nuevo.

Aquí hay 5 consejos sobre cómo reconstruir su crédito para que pueda prepararse si usted decide comprar una casa en el futuro o que solicitar otro tipo de crédito después de pasar por el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria.

1. Paga sus deudas a tiempo. Pagando la cantidad mínima mensualmente a tiempo se reflejará positivamente en su informe de crédito.

2. Mantenga bajos los balances de sus tarjetas de crédito. Si usted tiene una tarjeta de crédito con un saldo revolvente, trate de mantener el balance de la cuenta a 30% o menos del límite de crédito total de dicha cuenta. Por ejemplo, si su límite de crédito es de $ 10,000, usted debe tratar de mantener el balance de esa cuenta por debajo de $ 3,000.

3. Pague más que el pago mínimo mensual. Con sólo pagar $1 más por mes que el pago mínimo requerido, se registrará de manera positiva en su puntaje de crédito. No importa la cantidad, podría ser de $ 1 o $100 más de la cantidad mínima que se requiere pagas. Utilice este método para maximizar su capacidad para pagar la deuda más rápido y comenzar a reconstruir su crédito.

4. Mantenga abiertas sus cuentas antiguas de crédito. La longevidad de una cuenta tiene mucha importancia en como se calcula el puntaje de crédito. Los prestamistas les gusta ver que usted tiene un historial de uso de crédito y la capacidad de pagar sus facturas. Por lo tanto, si se cierra una cuenta antigua, que va a impactar negativamente su puntaje de crédito. Si es necesario cerrar las cuentas de crédito, considere la eliminación de nuevas cuentas en primer lugar.

5. Evite las esquemas de soluciones rápidas. Prometiendo la habilidad de arreglar su crédito en menos de 90 días quizás no pueden ser los medios más confiables. Si suena demasiado bueno para ser verdad, probablemente lo es. Si usted decide buscar ayuda profesional para ayudarle a resolver sus problemas de crédito, asegúrese de que es una organización de buena reputación. Una forma rápida de investigar si una organización está ofreciendo asistencia legítimo de asesoría de crédito es para ver si pertenecen a la Fundación Nacional de Consejería de Crédito, una organización sin fines de lucro, que tiene miembros de sus organismos miembros a un alto nivel. Visite su sitio: www.nfcc.org para obtener más información o para encontrar una agencia de asesoría de crédito cerca de usted.

En conclusión, la reconstrucción de su puntuación de crédito después de una ejecución hipotecaria o venta corta tomará tiempo y dedicación .  No hay “solución rápida” para reparar su crédito.

Si no lo ha hecho, es posible que quedra obtener su reporte de crédito gratis. Y un recordatorio de la Comisión Federal de Comercio: AnnualCreditReport.com es la única fuente autorizada para el reporte de crédito anual gratuito que por ley. La Ley de Informe Justo de Crédito garantiza el acceso a su reporte de crédito gratis de cada una de las tres compañías de informes de crédito – Experian, Equifax y TransUnion – cada 12 meses.

Lee nuestros otros blogs en ​​español:

¿Por Qué Trabajar Con Un Consejero de Casa?

5 Programas importante para los propietarios de California

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.

Independent Foreclosure Review Deadline is December 31, 2012. Learn How to Apply Here.

Independent Foreclosure ReviewBy Sean Coffey, Program Manager at Foreclosure Help.

There is just 31 days left to apply for the Independent Foreclosure Review.
The Independent Foreclosure Review was included in a settlement between federal regulators and 14 banks for the way they processed modifications and foreclosures in 2009 and 2010.

Eligibility: If a homeowner was in any sort of “foreclosure action” between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, and they feel it was improperly processed, then they may want to learn more and consider applying.  A foreclosure action does not necessarily mean the house was sold, the homeowner could still be in the home.

A foreclosure action includes:

  • the home being sold through a foreclosure judgment,
  • the loan went into the foreclosure process but the homeowner brought the mortgage current or entered a payment or modification plan,
  • the home was in foreclosure and the home was sold, the borrower participated in short-sale, or gave the home back to the bank via a deed-in-lieu, or
  • the mortgage was in foreclosure, the mortgage is still behind, but a sale has not yet taken place.

It also has to be the primary residence, and it only applies to the 14 banks/servicers included in the agreement.

The 14 banks and servicers are:

There is more information about eligibility on the Independent Foreclosure Review website.

SPANISH: There is also information in Spanish about the Independent Foreclosure review available here: ¿Qué es la Revisión Independiente de la Ejecución Hipotecaria?   También: Guia para completer el formulario

If you know of any homeowners who are potentially eligible, please encourage them to contact us with questions.   If a review finds their modification or foreclosure was improperly processed, depending on the situation, the homeowner could receive financial payments, ranging from $1,000 to up to $125,000 plus equity that was lost in the foreclosure.  For more information on the financial penalties, view this chart: Financial Penalties. Thus far, the number of eligible people who have applied for a modification is far below the projections (See this June GAO report for more information), so it is important to get the word out before the deadline passes in December.

The Independent Foreclosure Review is different than the foreclosure refund program, which is part of the Attorneys General Settlement.  The deadline to apply for the foreclosure refund in California is January 18, 2013.  For more information about the foreclosure refund, visit: “California Foreclosure Refund Program, Part of the Attorney General Settlement”

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.

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

Five Questions for the Presidential Candidates About the Foreclosure Crisis

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager, ForeclosureHelpSCC

  1. What is your position on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and allowing principal reductions for homeowners?   If elected or re-elected, would you consider changing this policy so they could allow principal reductions?  (In addition to principal reductions for Fannie and Freddie Loans through Keep Your Home California).
  2. Would you push for extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act which is set to expire in December 2012?
  3. Will you push to extend the Independent Foreclosure Review (and potentially the foreclosure refund under the Attorney General settlement) deadline so that more people can learn about it?
  4. Is there anything you would change with current system of modifications, short-sales, and foreclosures?
  5. Do you think we have put adequate policies in place to prevent another mortgage meltdown and foreclosure crisis?

ForeclosureHelpSCC is sponsoring a FREE foreclosure resource fair here in San Jose on October 20th at Overfelt High School from 9am to 3pm..  Come meet with a HUD-approved housing counselor, learn about your options, and make a plan.  Visit our website or blog post for more information, or you can call us to register: 408-293-6000.

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.

Free Foreclosure Resource Fair: October 20th at Overfelt High School

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager at ForeclosureHelpSCC

Do you live in Santa Clara County?  Are you struggling to make your mortgage payments?  Has your income gone down?  Would you like to speak with somebody who knows about the mortgage programs and settlements and can give you honest advice?

If you would like to get all of this information in one place, then you should come to a free Foreclosure Resource Fair here in San Jose on October 20th, from 9am to 3pm at Overfelt High School.

At the fair, you can meet one-on-one with a HUD certified Foreclosure Counselor who knows the system.  They can help you find solutions and develop a plan forward.  You will learn about which programs can help you, and scams that can hurt you.

Tax and legal experts at the event will give presentations and we’ll also have a free shredding truck for you to safely shred your old documents.

Assemblymember Jim Beall, who represents the 24th District for California, will also speak about recent legislation to address the foreclosure crisis here in California.  His office is helping to organize the event, and Assemblymember Beall explains, “In this tough economy, many families are living from paycheck to paycheck, struggling to meet their mortgage. Homeowners facing default who attend the foreclosure prevention fair can get effective counseling and learn how new laws passed by the Legislature can protect them.’’

Jeffrey F. Rosen,the District Attorney for Santa Clara County states “Real estate fraud, and particularly foreclosure rescue scams have a devastating impact in our communities.  We are proud to partner with ForeclosureHelpSCC and other non-profits to protect homeowners from real estate fraud, and hold con artists accountable for their misdeeds.”

Dr. John Porter, the Superintendent of Franklin McKinley School District and its Children’s Initiative,explained the impact of foreclosures on children and neighborhoods:  “I have seen how the stress and disruption of foreclosure hinders a child’s performance in school and affects their classmates.  And foreclosures take their toll on the whole neighborhood with the lack of income and resource that make children feel less safe and secure.”

Time and space with a housing counselor is limited, so if you would like to meet with a counselor, please call ahead of time to RSVP.  You can call (408) 293-6000 to reserve your space.

WHEN: Saturday October 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Overfelt High School, 1835 Cunningham Ave., San Jose, CA.

WHO:  ForeclosureHelpSCC is a consortium of non-profits serving the community and led by the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County with Asian, Inc., Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Neighborhood Housing Services, Project Sentinel, SurePath, and volunteers from Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, funded by the cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale. Other non-profits and banks will be there to offer information

WHY:    In July more than 1,000 families in Santa Clara County were impacted by a foreclosure proceeding, per Realty Trac. The foreclosure crisis may have passed its peak but a statewide study by the Center for Responsible Lending found, “Over 50% of existing single-family homes sold in California in 2011 were short sales or bank-owned foreclosures. ‘Lost Ground, 2011‘ found we are only about halfway through the foreclosure crisis.”

MORE INFORMATION: Please call the ForeclosureHelpSCC office: 408-293-6000, visit our website for the foreclosure resource fair, or email us: sean@housingtrustscc.org.

1 in 5 consumers receive a different credit score than their lender

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager of ForeclosureHelpSCC

A recently released report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau raises some serious concerns about credit scores and the credit bureaus that create the scores.

Credit scores are important because they are a large of the equation in determining the price that a person will pay for credit. A person who is perceived as a good credit risk (as judged by a high credit score) will likely obtain a lower interest rate for a loan as compared to somebody who is a bad credit risk (as judged by their score).

That’s why the results from the study are so troubling. The Bureau studied 200,000 credit files from the three big credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) and found that about one in five consumers would receive a “meaningfully different score than would a lender.” This has harmful implications for consumers, because they could be either applying for credit that they can’t obtain (because the score they’re seeing is higher than the potential lender is seeing). Or, they could end up paying more for credit than they should because the score the consumer saw is lower than the score the lender saw.

Thirty of the credit bureaus (representing 94% of all bureaus) will come under the supervision of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on September 30, 2012, and it appears that there is a lot of work to be done.  In the mean time, the Bureau suggests that consumer shop around for credit and check their credit reports and correct any inaccuracies.

To learn more about this study, visit: “Analysis of Differences between Consumer- and Creditor-Purchased Credit Scores”
You can also read our previous blog post: “Rebuilding your credit after a foreclosure or short sale”

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

Five Reasons Working With A Housing Counselor is Better Than “Going Alone”

By Aurora Olivares, Housing Counselor at Project Sentinel, one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC

Did you call your mortgage company because you are having problems with your mortgage payment? If you live in the state of California you were given the phone number for HUD (HUD stands for The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), a requirement under California law. (This requirement was included in Senate Bill 1137 which was passed in 2008 and is set to expire in January 2013).

If you called that number, you were likely referred to a local HUD approved agency where you can receive free housing counseling services. Many folks wonder about what the benefits may be to working with a housing counseling agency.

Here are my top 5 reasons to work with a housing counselor at a HUD-approved agency:

  1. Honest Advice: A housing counselor will help you by assessing your situation. We will talk to you about the good and the bad with an unbiased opinion, but we bring the background knowledge of the best practices and we uphold the national Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling. In addition, we have worked with many homeowners, banks, and servicers, and this experience means we know how to keep the process moving forward, and we know the programs that may help your situation.
  2. Explanation of bank letters: A certified housing counselor can help you dissect the terminology used in the correspondence issued by your lender and in the paperwork of the loan modification process. While a bank or servicer may say your loan is “going into foreclosure,” we can help you understand what the actual timeline is for foreclosure and how to look out for important things like a Notice of Default. Understanding letters from your bank or servicer can be especially beneficial for non-English speaking homeowners.
  3. Your Budget: A counselor will work with you to review your budget. Counselors can provide budget counseling and calculate your housing ratios so you understand your ability to afford your mortgage and explain how these same ratios could impact your eligibility for assistance. For example, a counselor can review your income vs. your housing expenses and explain to you how that will impact your eligibility for a program like Making Home Affordable.
  4. Communication with your Bank or Servicer: Have you submitted paperwork to your bank or servicer multiple times, or called your designated representative but were not able to speak to them? While these types of issues can’t be completely eliminated, a certified counselor may have a reliable contact with your lender or have an efficient method of submitting your documents which can help smooth out some of the bumps along the way during the lender’s review.
  5. Resources: We provide you with resources. Did your lender tell you if you were eligible for the Keep Your Home California program? (English Website for Keep Your Home California, Spanish Website for Conserva Tu Casa California) Were you advised if you are a good candidate for a reverse mortgage? Did your lender tell you about an up and coming program your county may be working on to aid homeowners in distress or where you could go to get the much needed repairs to your home? Odds are you were not told about some of the resources that are right in your own back yard. We are local, just like you and we know what programs are truly out there to help the community we live in.

Are you having trouble paying your mortgage and do you live here in San Jose or Sunnyvale California? If so, contact ForeclosureHelpSCC by telephone: (408) 293-6000, email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org, or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

ForeclosureHelpSCC is a program that is supported by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale, and staffed by housing counselors from four local, HUD-approved counseling agencies. Our housing counselors can speak to you about what your options are if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, including programs like Making Home Affordable, Keep Your Home California, the Independent Foreclosure Review, and private, in-house modifications offered by banks and servicers as well. Your housing counselor can work with you to develop a plan of action to begin dealing with the problem instead of ignoring it.

Remember, the sooner you start working with a housing counselor, the more options you will have to address your mortgage situation and potentially remain in your home.Time is not on your side, so pick up the phone and give us a call.

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

Foreclosures in San Jose and Sunnyvale: Three Reasons Time is Not on Your Side

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager of ForeclosureHelpSCC

In a famous Rolling Stones song, Mick Jagger told us that “Time is on My Side.” However, this is NOT the case if you are having trouble paying your mortgage here in San Jose or Sunnyvale, California. While you have probably heard stories of people not paying their mortgages for a long time and remaining in their home, these stories are the exception, not the rule.

In today’s post, we are going to review three “time issues” that homeowners should consider if they are having trouble paying their mortgage:

1. Foreclosure timeline in California: Once you miss your first mortgage payment, it will be reported on your credit. However, it isn’t until after you miss your second mortgage payment that your bank or servicer can file a Notice of Default. This is the first step in the foreclosure process. While it is serious, you still have at least 90 days after the Notice of Default is filed before you could receive a Notice of Trustee Sale. During that 90 days, you can bring the mortgage current or work with your bank on an arrangement like a modification or repayment plan.

After the 90 days has passed, then your bank or servicer can send you a Notice of Trustee Sale. A Notice of Trustee Sale tells you that the home is going to be sold in three weeks. These are the minimum time frames allowed by law. Your bank or servicer may move slower than these time-frames, but they can’t move any faster.

An important note: the Notice of Default and Notice of Trustee Sale are both public record, so you may be contacted by people who want to “help.” I’m biased, but based on our experience cleaning up after these “experts,” I would be very wary about accepting help from people that call you. In fact, in California, it is illegal to charge an up-front fee for a loan modification.  Instead, if you’re here in San Jose or Sunnyvale, call ForeclosureHelpSCC (408-293-6000), where we can set up an appointment for you to meet with a trained housing counselor from one of our four HUD-approved counseling agencies. We are funded by federal and local grants, so we do not charge the homeowner for our services.

2. The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act is currently set to expire at the end of 2012.
Earlier this month the Los Angeles Times reported on a topic that has many people in the housing world concerned: “Mortgage debt relief may bring new pain: a tax bill.”  The Times explained that a law passed in 2007- The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act is set to expire at the end of the year. Prior to enactment of this law, if you had a foreclosure or a short sale, the difference between what you owed and what the house ultimately sold for (at auction or via a short sale) was considered taxable income. The same issue would apply for principal reductions. For example, if you had a mortgage balance of $450,000, but short-sold your house for $400,000, then the $50,000 difference would have been considered income by the IRS. However, under the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, that income has been exempted.

As the Times notes, many of the new settlements, like the Attorneys General settlement, include principal reduction, and much of the relief isn’t slated to begin until 2013. Kevin Stein from the California Reinvestment Coalition pointed out that the relief offered under these settlements won’t be nearly as meaningful if homeowners are being taxed on it.

While there is legislation pending to extend the debt forgiveness, nobody knows for sure what will happen. If an extension is not put in place, homeowners who already face difficult financial situations could find themselves facing a large tax bill.

3. Independent Foreclosure Review Program This is the third “time issue” for San Jose and Sunnyvale homeowners to consider. In our earlier blog post, we explained the details of the Independent Foreclosure Review for homeowners who dealt with issues related to robo-signing from 2009-2010. The deadline to apply for this program is December 31, 2012.

Are you having trouble paying your mortgage and do you live here in San Jose or Sunnyvale California? If so, contact ForeclosureHelpSCC by telephone: (408) 293-6000, email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org, or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.
ForeclosureHelpSCC is a program that is supported by the Cities of San Jose and Sunnyvale, and staffed by housing counselors from four local, HUD-approved counseling agencies. Our housing counselors can speak to you about what your options are if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, including programs like Making Home Affordable, Keep Your Home California, the Independent Foreclosure Review, and private, in-house modifications offered by banks and servicers as well. Your housing counselor can work with you to develop a plan of action to begin dealing with the problem instead of ignoring it.

Remember, the sooner you start working with a housing counselor, the more options you will have to address your mortgage situation and potentially remain in your home. Time is not on your side, so pick up the phone and give us a call.

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