New Presentation Explains Why Organizations and People Across the US Oppose the OneWest and CIT Group Merger

Did you have a mortgage from IndyMac Bank, OneWest Bank, or a reverse mortgage from Financial Freedom? Federal bank regulators are holding a public hearing about a proposed merger of CIT Group and OneWest Bank. If you’ve had negative experiences with OneWest or Financial Freedom, you may want to take a look at this blog post and consider emailing the Federal Reserve and OCC so they have an accurate picture of OneWest’s servicing practices.

California Reinvestment Coalition

If you’re wondering why people are opposed the the merger of CIT Group and OneWest Bank, watch this short Prezi!

It outlines the many problems with this proposed merger.  If, after viewing it, you’d like to weigh in with regulators, please visit CRC’s Resource page to get the two email addresses for the regulators who are reviewing this proposed merger.

CIT Merger Presentation

View the presentation by clicking on the picture above, or by clicking here: CIT Group and OneWest Proposed Merger: What You Need To Know.

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HAMP Program Is Extended Until 2015: What does this mean for homeowners in San Jose and Sunnyvale California?

The Obama Administration announced today that the HAMP program has been extended until 2015.  This is an important development because the program was set to expire at the end of 2013.  ForeclosureHelp and our seven partners had signed a letter earlier this year, asking that the program be extended because it has been such an important tool in helping families to remain in their homes.

In the past few months, homeowners have contacted ForeclosureHelp and worked with our certified housing counselors when they’re struggling with their mortgages and possibly facing foreclosure because of a death of a spouse, chronic unemployment, predatory hard money loans, student loans, divorce, etc.

HAMP is an important program that a housing counselor can use to help a homeowner stay in their home.  Other programs include Keep Your Home California  or Conserva Tu Casa California. The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program will pay your mortgage for up to 9 months), HARP, and private, in-house modifications.

A few stats about HAMP from the most recent report on loan modifications in the fourth quarter of 2012:

  • Among HAMP modifications, servicers reduced interest rates in 81% of those modifications, deferred principal in 29.2%, and reduced principal in 24.9%
  • HAMP modifications reduced payments by an average of 35.4%.

If you’re a homeowner in San Jose or Sunnyvale, pick up the phone and call ForeclosureHelp today.  Our certified counselors can help you analyze your situation, determine which programs may help you (and they’ll assist you to apply) and create a sustainable plan forward.

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Foreclosure Help is a coalition program funded by the city of San Jose through a HUD Community Development Block Grant and the city of Sunnyvale, and we can directly assist homeowners  and tenants in San Jose and Sunnyvale who are facing foreclosure.   However, we are unable to assist homeowners/former homeowners in other cities and states.  If you need housing counseling, we suggest using the interactive map on HUD’s website.

ForeclosureHelp partners include the Housing Trust Silicon Valley (lead agency), the Fair Housing Law Project at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, SurePath Financial Solutions, Project Sentinel, Asian Inc, Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley, and the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors.

If you are a homeowner living in San Jose or Sunnyvale and are struggling with your mortgage, please contact ForeclosureHelpSCC, a program funded by the City of San Jose through a HUD Community Development Block Grant and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit us: 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.

fair_housing_logo

FAIR HOUSING AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

It is the policy of ForeclosureHelp not to discriminate against any person because of that person’s race, color, religious creed, sex (gender), sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status (households with children under the age of 18), source of income, disability, medical condition or age. Color or “ethnic group identification” means the possession of the racial, cultural or linguistic characteristics common to a racial, cultural or ethnic group, or the country or ethnic group from which a person or his or her forebears originated. As required by law, we agree to take the affirmative steps needed to further fair housing.

ForeclosureHelp will consider any and all requests for reasonable accommodation in the application of its rules, policies, practices, and services, and in the use of its physical structures, in accordance with the requirements of state and federal laws. You can ask ForeclosureHelp to consider any reasonable accommodation you may have. Please consult with the Program Manager (408-293-6000 or via email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org) to request this accommodation.

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.

Keep Your Home California

Keep Your Home California has helped almost 25,000 hard-hit families, from out-of-work homeowners to those who are in need of principal reduction and lower monthly payments.

The state-run program recently launched a new website (link to www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org), with several real homeowner success stories featured on the homepage. Click on their photos and you will learn more about Abigail, Curtis, David, Wayne and a few other real homeowners and their situations.Image

They are just like many of the thousands of other Californians who call the counseling center every day, worried about their homes and looking for a solution. Perhaps they are like you.

Keep Your Home California appreciates these homeowners and their willingness to share their experiences, something that is not easy for many. But these individuals understand the need to educate and encourage more homeowners to apply for the $2 billion program – and help save their homes.

Keep…

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Event Focuses on Stabilizing Homeownership after Foreclosures in California

First Time Homebuyers Losing to All Cash Investors

Street Corner in San Jose, California

Editor’s note: This is post #1 in a two-part series.  You can read part 2 here.

By Sean Coffey, Program Manager, Foreclosure Help

The California Housing Consortium recently sponsored the 1st Annual  Homeownership Forum.  The theme for the day was “Stabilizing Homeownership and Communities in the Post-Foreclosure World” and panelists and participants discussed current efforts to repair the housing market, while creating and retaining affordable housing.    To see the agenda and speaker slides, visit the CHC website.

Two themes emerged during the day:

1) While many potential homebuyers are ready (including first time homebuyers), engaged and excited to buy a home in the Bay Area, many of them are unsuccessful when they make offers right now because they are competing with all-cash offers from investors.

2) There is not one “single bullet” policy or program that will fix the housing market, but it will likely be a combination of programs, policies, and financing mechanisms, both from the public and private sector that will help the housing market to recover.

Repairing credit after an improper foreclosure?

One of the most interesting comments of the day came during a conversation with a fellow audience member when she asked me if there are any plans to assist homeowners with fixes to their credit reports if they were the victim of an improper foreclosure. I am not aware of this being included in the Independent Foreclosure Review, but it seems logical that if a homeowner’s credit was damaged because of an improper foreclosure, (and the bank admitted it was an improper foreclosure by paying compensation under the Independent Foreclosure Review), then the bank/servicer could also notify the three credit reporting agencies that the foreclosure proceedings were improper.

Upon receiving this information, the credit agencies could code the person’s credit report appropriately, and there should be a subsequent “bounce” in the person’s credit score, and a lower cost of credit for that homeowner.  Given the increased scrutiny that Experian, Equifax, and Transunion now face by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, this is an idea worthy of consideration, and could potentially restore some faith in the credit bureaus, who have faced criticism recently over errors in a substantial number of consumer’s credit reports.  (See our previous post on this topic: “New Report: 1 in 10 Consumers Have Incorrect Credit Score“)

FHA’s Role in “Healing” the Market

Carol Galante, recently confirmed as the Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commission, opened the day and cited the importance of FHA loans in helping to repair the market, with nearly four million FHA loans completed since the beginning of the crisis, with 80% of these loans made to first time homebuyers.

Galante is the FHA Commissioner, and she discussed efforts FHA is making or considering making to repair the market, including selling pools of loans where all of the loans are at least six months delinquent.  In this model, investors could purchase a pool of delinquent loans, and then work with homeowners to modify the mortgage to an affordable level.

She also cited FHA’s 203K loan, which allows homeowners to pay for repairs to a home using the mortgage that they are using to buy the home to also finance the repairs.  However, she noted that the current limit of seven homes could prevent non-profits from using the program, and suggested that lifting this limit could allow non-profits to use this loan more broadly.

Galante also touched on a few other hot topics, including whether pre-purchase counseling should be mandatory, and how to pay for it, and do it in such a way that it’s meaningful for potential homeowners.  Audience questions touched on a recent settlement where a bank disclosed that it had inappropriately given homeowners FHA loans (when they didn’t need them), as well as the difficulty that first-time homebuyers are having in competing against all-cash investors.

This is post #1 in a two-part series.  You can read part 2 here.

Related articles:

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.

January Foreclosure Update for California

California 2013 Foreclosure Update

By Sean Coffey, Program Manager at ForeclosureHelpSCC

1) Debt Forgiveness at the state level.   The Federal Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act was recently extended for another year.  While debt forgiveness in now extended for another year at the federal level, this same forgiveness has not been extended at the state level in California.  According to a press release from the California Association of Realtors, Senate Bill 30, which was recently introduced by Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), would exempt the taxation of forgiven mortgage debt at the state level.  The bill was referred to the Committee on Government and Finance on January 10, 2013.

2) Homeowner Bill of Rights went into effect on January 1, 2013.   ForeclosureHelpSCC has translated the information about the Homeowner Bill of Rights into 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”).   We encourage homeowners to remind their banks and servicers about this new law in California, especially the ban on dual tracking, the required single point of contact, and the new protections for tenants in foreclosed home in California, which is now 90 days.

3) Litton Loan Servicing and Saxon Mortgage companies both agreed to settlements similar to the Independent Foreclosure Review process that was dramatically changed in January.  The settlement will include $232 million in direct payments to homeowners and $325 million in “other assistance.”   You can see a press release about their settlements here:  Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have reached agreements in principle with the Federal Reserve Board to pay $557 million in cash payments and other assistance to help mortgage borrowers.

4) Scam letters continue to target homeowners:  Homeowners visiting our office for a housing counseling appointment continue to bring in official-looking letters from companies that are offering modifications, debt forgiveness, and other assistance with mortgages.

As a reminder, it is ILLEGAL to charge an upfront fee for a loan modification in California.  Also, when a homeowner stops paying their mortgage, a Notice of Default can be filed by the bank or servicer with the County Recorder’s office (after you miss the second mortgage payment).  This is public record, and people use this information to send out official looking notices/advertisements to homeowners.

It is really important to carefully read any mail you receive.  Also, be very cautious about companies that contact you who promise or guarantee they can modify your loan.  At the end of the day, it is your bank or servicer (and possibly the investor who holds your mortgage) who will decide whether or not the loan is modified.

5) Foreclosure Crisis continues in California:  While the numbers of Notices of Default have reduced, a recent Realty Trac report indicates that California is still in the top ten in terms of foreclosure rates, and one out of 430 homes  has a foreclosure filing in California.

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.

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.