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$2 Billion Effort to Assist California Homeowners Struggling to Remain in Homes
Monday, March 7, 2011 - 9:52
California residents will soon have a new resource to help stem the tide of foreclosures plaguing the state.
The Keep Your Home California initiative was recently implemented by the California Housing Finance Agency to fight the ongoing foreclosure crisis in California, with the primary goal to help families remain in their homes. California received nearly $2 billion for the programs as part of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Hardest Hit fund.
CSET was selected as one of the agencies to operate the Keep Your Home California programs. “These programs couldn’t come at a more important time”, said Maria Villa, a foreclosure counselor with CSET, “Tulare County has significantly much higher foreclosure rate than the rest of the country”. According to RealityTrac, one in every 159 homes received a foreclosure filing in Tulare County in January 2011.
Keep Your Home California is a collection of four new programs, each intended to help avoid foreclosure: three offer several forms of mortgage assistance, as well as a separate program that provides transition assistance to borrowers who execute a short sale or deed in lieu transaction.
“Our goal is to get the very most out of these federal dollars to assist California families,” said Steven Spears, Executive Director of CalHFA. “With families struggling through a number of financial hardships and the disruption in the real estate market, these programs will help those in need while stabilizing neighborhoods and communities severely impacted by foreclosures.”
All of the programs are designed specifically for low or moderate income homeowners who are either unemployed or are facing another financial hardship, have fallen behind on their mortgages and owe significantly more than the value of their homes.
"The foreclosure crisis continues to hinder our potential for economic recovery, and strips stability from our communities,” said Assemblymember Mike Eng, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance.
Specifically, the Keep Your Home California programs provide:
- Mortgage assistance of up to $3,000 per month for unemployed homeowners who are in imminent danger of defaulting on their home loans.
- Funds to help homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments due to a temporary change in a household circumstance. The program will provide up to $15,000 per household to reinstate mortgages to prevent foreclosures.
- Money to reduce the principal owed on a mortgage for a home where the low or moderate income homeowner is facing a serious financial hardship and owes significantly more than the home is worth. The program requires lenders to match any assistance provided by the Keep Your Home California program.
How to Apply:
To apply for the assistance, a homeowner can contact CSET directly at (559) 741-4643.
The programs will be limited to homeowners who meet a number of criteria, including owning and occupying the home as their primary residence, meeting income limits and facing a financial hardship. Homeowners who consummated a “cash-out” refinance are not eligible for Keep Your Home California programs.
The following institutions are participating in some or all of the Keep Your Home California programs: GMAC, Guild Mortgage, California Housing Finance Agency, California Department of Veterans Affairs, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, CitiMortgage, EMC Corporation and Wells Fargo. Full details regarding servicer participation can be found at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org.
312 N.W. 3rd Avenue · Visalia, CA 93291
Phone: (559) 732-4194 · Fax: (559) 733-3971
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