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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La Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios de California

Esta explicación de la Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios fue preparada por: El Proyecto Legal de Viviendas Justas.

Creative Commons LicenseLa Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios de California by El Proyecto Legal de Viviendas Justas. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

La “Declaración de Derechos para los Propietarios” de California (HBOR) agrega nuevas medidas de protección para ayudar a prevenir las ejecuciones hipotecarias evitables. HBOR requiere que los administradores de préstamos y prestamistas provean notificaciones adicionales para que los prestatarios conozcan sus derechos y cómo ponerse en contacto con su administrador de préstamos para obtener una modificación de préstamo u otro tipo de ayuda para prevenir la ejecución.

HBOR impide que “Doble Seguimiento” (“Dual Tracking”) donde los administradores de préstamos ponen a los propietarios  en el camino hacia la ejecución hipotecaria, aún cuando se está evaluando una solicitud de modificación de préstamo.  HBOR requiere que los administradores brinden un solo punto de contacto consistente para ayudar a los prestatarios durante  la evaluación de la solicitud y la ejecución hipotecaria.  HBOR también requiere que los prestamistas proporcionen la documentación adecuada antes de que puedan ejecutar la hipoteca, y les dará las herramientas a los prestatarios para que ellos puedan imponer sus derechos.

Antes de archivar una notificación de incumplimiento (NOD), y por lo menos 30 días antes de la inscripción de una NOD, el administrador debe enviar una notificación por escrito al prestatario que indica que si el prestatario es un miembro del servicio militar o dependiente de un miembro del servicio militar, él o ella puede tener derecho a ciertas protecciones. La notificación también debe informar a los prestatarios (tanto militares como no militares) que tienen el derecho de solicitar y obtener documentos fundamentales del préstamo y un historial de sus pagos.

Si el prestamista ya ha archivado una notificación de incumplimiento (NOD), el administrador debe enviar una carta al prestatario dentro de 5 días hábiles después de la inscripción del NOD. La carta debe notificarle al prestatario que él o ella puede ser evaluado/a para una alternativa  a una ejecución hipotecaria; declarar si se requiera una solicitud para ser considerado; y describir el proceso por el cual un prestatario puede obtener una solicitud.

Requisitos fundamentales y protecciones bajo HBOR

  • HBOR requiere que los administradores reconozcan que recibieron su solicitud y les prohíbe continuar con el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria mientras se evalúa su elegibilidad.
  • Si usted presenta una solicitud, el administrador debe confirmar por escrito la recepción de su documentación dentro de 5 días hábiles de la fecha en la que fue recibida.  El aviso debe también darle información sobre el proceso de aplicación, avisarle de necesitar un documento que falte para completar la aplicación y darle una fecha límite para presentar esos documentos.
  • Usted debe ser informado de una u otra forma de la decisión tomada por su prestamista. Los prestatarios que presenten una solicitud completa deben obtener una decisión de “sí” o “no” por parte del administrador antes de que éste pueda iniciar o continuar con el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria. La negación deberá incluir una explicación detallada de su decisión.
  • HBOR detiene la ejecución hipotecaria mientras que usted espera por una decisión. Una vez que haya enviado una solicitud de modificación de préstamo completa, el administrador no puede presentar o continuar con una ejecución hipotecaria hasta que su prestamista le ha dado una decisión sobre su modificación.
  • HBOR detiene la ejecución hipotecaria si usted califica por, acepta y mantiene al día el préstamo modificado. Si el prestamista dice que usted reúne los requisitos y usted acepta una oferta, el prestamista
    no puede proceder con la ejecución hipotecaria, siempre y cuando mantenga el pago a tiempo y según lo acordado en la modificación.
  • Usted tiene 14 días para aceptar una oferta de modificación sobre el primer préstamo. Si usted no acepta la modificación, su administrador puede proceder con el proceso de ejecución hipotecaria 14 días después de la oferta de modificación sobre el primer préstamo.
  • Los administradores  no pueden cobrarle una tarifa para solicitar una modificación de préstamo u otro tipo de ayuda.
  • Cargos por pagos atrasados no se pueden aplicar por los periodos durante los cuales una solicitud está siendo considerada, durante una apelación, o mientras que los pagos de modificación del préstamo se están haciendo a tiempo.
  • Si se le concede una modificación u otro tipo de ayuda y el préstamo es vendido o transferido, el administrador  posterior debe honrar el acuerdo.
  • HBOR no requiere que un administrador le ofrezca una modificación de préstamo, si éste no participa en ningún programa de este tipo, o si usted no cumple con los requisitos de elegibilidad aplicables.
  • El deber de ofrecer la oportunidad de aplicar para alternativas de una ejecución hipotecaria, si están disponibles a través del prestamista, se limita a los primeros préstamos.

El Proyecto Legal de Viviendas Justas es miembro de ForeclosureHelpSCC, un programa comunitario que ayuda a los propietarios de viviendas e inquilinos que enfrentan una ejecución hipotecaria. Si usted está enfrentando una ejecución hipotecaria, hay profesionales certificados que pueden ayudarle a entender sus opciones para evitar la ejecución hipotecaria, incluso a través de una modificación de préstamo. Llame a la línea directa: 408-293-6000, visite el sitio web: http://www.foreclosurehelpscc.org, o envíe un correo electrónico: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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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 Say Customer Service is Still a Problem when They Contact Their Bank or Servicer

Lost documents, robo-signing, getting different messages from different bank departments, broken verbal promises for modifications, loan servicing being transferred, and unexplained modification denials- are these all things of the past with settlements like the Independent Foreclosure Review, Attorney General Settlement, and here in California, the new Homeowner Bill of Rights?

Not exactly.

At the national level, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently made its complaint database public and complaints about mortgage loan servicing issues represent 55% of the 90,000 complaints. The Bureau is making the data public and asking for people’s ideas on how to use the data.  As an example, the Bureau created a sort-able spreadsheet that allows users to sort by the type of complaint, company, etc.

HousingWire recently touched on some of these issues in their April 23rd article, “Loan mods, inaccessible websites irritate servicing customers the most.” The article describes Craig Martin’s recent presentation where he said that loan modification and inaccessible/difficult to maneuver websites are two top complaints of homeowners.   Martin is with J.D. Power and Associates, which publishes an annual rating on mortgage loan servicers.

In J.D. Power and Associates’ most recent survey of 5,623 homeowners ,  BB&T, Regions Mortgage, SunTrust Mortgage, Chase, and PNC Mortgage were ranked the highest quality.  In comparison, the five lowest rated banks/servicers were Aurora Loan Services, OneWest Bank (formerly Indymac), Homeward Residential, Nationstar Mortgage, and Ocwen Loan Servicing.   You can see the full chart of all the banks on page 4:  J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Amid Record-Low Interest Rates and Improved Loan Modification Programs, Customer Satisfaction Increases

If you live in San Jose or Sunnyvale and you’re struggling with your mortgage, you may want to sit down and meet with a housing counselor from ForeclosureHelp.  At your appointment, they’ll review your mortgage, your income/monthly budget, and then help you understand your eligibility for programs like HAMP, HARP, in-house modifications, and Keep Your Home California– a program that over 600 Santa Clara County residents have already accessed and used.

The services at ForeclosureHelp are paid for through a federal Community Development Block Grant from the City of San Jose and from a grant from the City of Sunnyvale- so there is no charge to the homeowner.

 Other resources to review:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warns mortgage servicers about legal protections for consumers when transferring loans

The CFPB takes action against mortgage insurers to end kickbacks to lenders

Maggie’s Five Rules for Working with Your Bank or Servicer

California Monitor (for Attorney General Settlement with 5 largest banks) Website

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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.

ForeclosureHelp Update: CitiGroup and Wells Pause Foreclosures; MN Passes Homeowner Bill of Rights; NY AG Updates Complaint Against BOA and Wells for Violating AG Settlement

It has been a busy week for developments related to the ongoing foreclosure crisis.

On May 17th, American Banker broke the news (“Wells, Citi Halt Most Foreclosure Sales as OCC Ratchets Up Scrutiny”)  that Wells Fargo and Citigroup were halting foreclosures in some states after receiving new guidance from their regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. (read the guidance here). According to the article, JP Morgan Chase had suspended foreclosures, but has re-started them.

While this “pause” is temporary, it does raise questions from housing advocates and homeowners who have suggested that banks and servicers are still failing to comply with new regulations around mortgage loan servicing, and dual tracking (processing a foreclosure and modification at the same time) abuses.

For example, the California Reinvestment Coalition’s latest survey (they’ve done nine since the foreclosure crisis started) of housing counselors in California found that homeowners and housing counselors are still dealing with multiple contacts at the bank, instead of the “Single Point of Contact” (SPOC) that is mandated by the recently enacted Homeowner Bill of Rights: “Over 70% of responding counselors reported that SPOC’s were “never,” “rarely,” or only “sometimes,” accessible, consistent or knowledgeable.” Read the full survey here: “Chasm Between Words and Deeds IX: Bank Violations Hurt Hardest Hit Communities

Homeowners here in San Jose and Sunnyvale, California who contact ForeclosureHelp for our free housing counseling services (the program is paid for through a HUD Community Development Block Grant and through funding from the city of Sunnyvale) have reported similar issues with their Single Points of Contact and not receiving return phone calls from them.

As HousingWire reported earlier this month, (“California Homeowner Bill of Rights blocks BofA foreclosure”), the protection against dual-tracking under the CA Homeowner Bill of Rights was recently used for a California homeowner who obtained an injunction against Bank of America foreclosing on his home. His attorney told HousingWire that he estimates the expenses for Bank of America for this case could easily hit $60,000.

Joseph Smith, who is the National Monitor for the AG Settlement, is expected to release a report shortly that will detail if and how well the banks are meeting the requirements they agreed to under the national AG settlement. Meanwhile, the Attorney General for the state of New York, Eric Schneiderman, has announced that he is revising his complaint against Wells Fargo and Bank of America for their alleged 339 servicing violations under the AG settlement. From American Banker: “ N.Y. AG Revising Foreclosure Settlement Complaint Against B of A, Wells

The common sense protections included in California’s Homeowner Bill of Rights appear popular in Minnesota, with the Minnesota Star Tribune reporting that a bill with similar protections has just passed their House of Representatives and has already passed the Minnesota Senate: “House passes Homeowners Bill of Rights

We’ll close on a positive note from Freddie Mac, which announced that its new Streamlined Modification program is immediately available for homeowners who are facing foreclosure and whose loan is owned by Freddie Mac. Through this program, servicers will send modification offers to borrowers who are at least 90 days late, but no more than 720 days late, and whose loan is at least 12 months old. The borrower will have to make three on time payments during a trial period, and then they will be offered a modification. Servicers can reduce the monthly mortgage payment by lowering the interest rate, extending the loan to 40 years, and also through forbearing principal (not the same as a principal reduction- this is more like a balloon payment ). For more information, read their press release: “Freddie Mac Announces Immediate Availability of Streamlined Modification for Delinquent Borrowers

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.

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

By Sean Coffey, MPA, Program Manager at Foreclosure Help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our housing counselors can help you evaluate your options, learn more about federal and state programs that may help you with your mortgage issues, and will help you create a plan forward.Please note: All content included in the ForeclosureHelpSCC blog is provided for information only and should NOT be considered legal or tax advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on our hotline: (408)-293-6000, or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org or send us an email: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

Si usted es dueño de una casa en San José o en Sunnyvale y están luchando con su hipoteca, por favor póngase en contacto con ForeclosureHelpSCC, un programa financiado por la ciudad de San José y la ciudad de Sunnyvale, al (408) -293- 6000, o visite nuestro sitio: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.Nuestros consejeros puede ayudarle a evaluar sus opciones, aprender más acerca de los programas federales y estatales que pueden ayudarle con sus problemas de hipoteca, y le ayudará a crear un plan para seguir.

Por favor, tenga en cuenta: Todos los contenidos incluidos en el blog ForeclosureHelpSCC se proporciona únicamente a título informativo y no debe ser considerada como consejo legal o fiscal. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor no dude en contactarnos a nuestra línea directa: (408) -293-6000, o visite nuestro sitio:www.foreclosurehelpscc.org o envíenos un correo electrónico: help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

Nếu bạn là một sinh hoạt chủ sở hữu nhà ở San Jose hoặc Sunnyvale và đang đấu tranh với nợ nhà, xin vui lòng liên ForeclosureHelpSCC, một chương trình được tài trợ bởi thành phố San Jose và thành phố của Sunnyvale ở (408) -293-6000 hoặc truy cập trang web của chúng tôi: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

Nhân viên tư vấn của chúng tôi đã được HUD chấp thuận có thể giúp bạn đánh giá các lựa chọn của bạn, tìm hiểu thêm về các chương trình của liên bang và tiểu bang có thể giúp bạn với các vấn đề thế chấp của bạn, và sẽ giúp bạn tạo ra một kế hoạch phía trước.Xin lưu ý: Tất cả các nội dung trên Blog ForeclosureHelpSCC được cung cấp thông tin duy nhất và không nên coi là hợp pháp hoặc tư vấn thuế. Nếu bạn có bất cứ câu hỏi , xin vui lòng liên hệ với chúng tôi qua đường dây nóng: (408) -293-6000, hoặc truy cập vào trang của chúng tôi: http://www.foreclosurehelpscc.org hoặc gửi email cho chúng tôi:help@foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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.

La Declaración de Derechos de los Propietarios de Vivienda en California

La Declaración de Derechos de los Propietarios de Vivienda en CaliforniaLa Declaración de Derechos de los Propietarios de Vivienda en California se convirtió en ley el 1ro de Enero de 2013 para asegurar prácticas de préstamos justas para los propietarios en California.

Las leyes han sido diseñadas para garantizar un proceso de embargo de hipoteca justo y transparente para los propietarios. Las provisiones más importantes incluyen:

1. Restricción del seguimiento doble en el proceso de embargo: Las agencias que dan servicios hipotecarios están restringidas de continuar con el proceso de embargo si el propietario está trabajando un proceso de modificación del préstamo. Cuando un propietario completa la aplicación para una modificación, el proceso de embargo es pausado hasta que la aplicación haya sido completamente revisada.

2. Garantiza un punto de contacto único: Los propietarios se les garantiza un punto de contacto único mientras navegan el sistema y tratan de mantener su vivienda. –una persona o un equipo en el banco que conocen la verdad de su caso, tiene los documentos y pueden obtener una decisión sobre su solicitud de modificación de préstamo.

3. Verificación de Documentos: Los prestamistas que registren múltiples documentos no verificados serán sujetos a una penalidad civil de hasta $7,500 por préstamo en un recurso iniciado por un fiscal civil. Los prestamistas que estén en violación serán sujetos también a una sanción por parte de los organismos de otorgamiento de licencias incluyendo el Departamento de Corporaciones, el Departamento de Bienes Raíces y el Departamento de Instituciones Financieras.

4. Cumplimiento: Los prestatarios tendrán la autoridad de acceder a una compensación por violaciones “materiales” en las nuevas protecciones del proceso de embargo. Las reparaciones por mandato judicial estarán disponibles antes de una venta de embargo y la recuperación de daños estará disponible después de la venta.  (AB 278, SB 900)

5. Derechos de los inquilinos: Los compradores de casas embargadas están obligados a otorgar a los inquilinos un mínimo de  90 días antes de iniciar el proceso de desalojo. Si el inquilino tiene un contrato de arrendamiento por un tiempo fijo con fecha de inicio anterior a la transferencia del título de propiedad, el nuevo dueño deberá honrar el contrato de arrendamiento a menos que pueda demostrar que se aplican las excepciones con el fin de prevenir fraude. (AB 2610)

6. Herramientas para combatir legalmente el fraude hipotecario: El límite legal para procesar legalmente los crímenes relacionados a las hipotecas ha sido extendido de uno a tres años permitiendo a la oficina del Fiscal General investigar y procesar crímenes de fraude hipotecario mas complejos. Adicionalmente, la oficina del Fiscal General puede utilizar un gran jurado estatal para investigar y procesar a autores de crímenes financieros que involucren víctimas en múltiples condados. (AB 1950, SB 1474)

7. Herramientas para evitar la plaga: Los gobiernos locales y las entidades encargadas por mandato judicial tienen herramientas adicionales para combatir la plaga causada por múltiples casas no habitadas en los vecindarios, desde mayor tiempo para que los propietarios arreglen las violaciones al código, hasta medidas que obligan a los dueños de propiedades embargadas a pagar por el mantenimiento. (AB 2314)

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.

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.