Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, Part of Keep Your Home California: How Does It Work?

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

Have you heard of the Keep Your Home California program? (KYHC) Are you unsure how the program works to help struggling homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures? A few homeowners I’ve worked with here in the Bay Area are good examples of how Keep Your Home California works.

Are you like Michelle?

I recently was contacted by a woman who was laid off two months ago. She received a flyer from her local EDD office about the Keep Your Home California program. Michelle had used up her savings and was concerned about her ability to pay her mortgage while unemployed. I met with her the following day to go over the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance (UMA) program. Michelle met all the requirements in order to apply for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program and her application was submitted the same day.

Michelle kept in contact with the Keep Your Home California team and provided all documents needed for the eligibility review. Michelle’s review went smoothly and she was approved for the UMA program. Michelle was approved to have KYHC make her payments for up to up to 9 months while she looked to secure new employment and had KYHC administer her first mortgage installment before her payment was due, helping her preserve her credit.

Here are some quick facts about the Keep Your Home California program:

Your lender/servicer must participate in the program in order to qualify for the Keep Your Home California funds. Each lender/servicer can participate in as little as one or in all four of the Keep Your Home California programs.

Is my bank or servicer participating in Keep Your Home California?
Check this list: Servicers Participating in Your Home California

There are 4 award programs:

  • UMA-Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program: Is designed to assist unemployed homeowners who are receiving EDD benefits.
  • MRAP-Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program: This program can help by reinstating past due payments.
  • PRP-Principal Reduction Program: Homeowners who owe more than their property is worth, may be eligible for a principle reduction.
  • TAP-Transitional Assistance Program: Provides a payment of up to $5,000 to help homeowners, who cannot retain their home transition into new housing.

The Keep Your Home California program applies to primary mortgages in first position only. Second mortgages or home equity lines of credit are not eligible for Keep Your Home California programs. The property must be owner occupied and located in the state of California. The loan balance on the first mortgage is below $729,750. The homeowner(s) cannot be in bankruptcy while applying for Keep Your Home California Program.

Will you be the next success story?
To find out more about these four programs, or to set up an appointment with a housing counselor who can discuss these programs with you, contact ForeclosureHelpSCC by calling us at (408) 293-6000. You can also email us at help@foreclosurehelpscc.org or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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

Keep Your Home California: How Does It Work?

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

Have you heard of the Keep Your Home California program? Are you unsure how the program works to help struggling homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures? A few homeowners I’ve worked with here in the Bay Area are good examples of how Keep Your Home California works.

Meet Ron.

Earlier this year I received a call from Ron. He had medical issues that prevented him from working full time. He drew from his 401K to pay medical bills while he recuperated. During this time, Ron fell behind on his mortgage payments. Ron regained his health and was back to his old self with a steady income but was unable to catch up on the $10,000 in delinquent mortgage payments from when he was ill and fell behind on his mortgage. After struggling to reach an agreement with his mortgage company, he heard about the Keep Your Home California program and called to set up a counseling appointment.

I met with Ron and after learning more about his situation, I determined that he was an ideal candidate for the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program (MRAP). Ron lived in the property with the past due payments, he was not in bankruptcy, had a loan balance under $729,750 and had an affordable payment after overcoming his medical hardship.

I worked with Ron to submit an application for the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program through Keep Your Home California. After submitting the necessary paperwork, meeting investor guidelines, and working closely with the Keep Your Home California processing team, Ron was funded $10,000 to bring his mortgage current. Through this program, Ron was able to remain in his home.

In our next post, I’ll discuss a homeowner who successfully used the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, which is also part of Keep Your Home California. In the meantime, I’m including program information below.

Here are some quick facts about the program:
Your lender/servicer must participate in the program in order to qualify for the Keep Your Home California funds. Each lender/servicer can participate in as little as one or in all four of the Keep Your Home California programs.

Is my bank or servicer participating in Keep Your Home California?
Check this list: Servicers Participating in Your Home California

There are 4 award programs:

  • UMA-Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program: Is designed to assist unemployed homeowners who are receiving EDD benefits.
  • MRAP-Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program: This program can help by reinstating past due payments.
  • PRP-Principal Reduction Program: Homeowners who owe more than their property is worth, may be eligible for a principle reduction.
  • TAP-Transitional Assistance Program: Provides a payment of up to $5,000 to help homeowners, who cannot retain their home transition into new housing.

The Keep Your Home California program applies to primary mortgages in first position only. Second mortgages or home equity lines of credit are not eligible for Keep Your Home California programs. The property must be owner occupied and located in the state of California. The loan balance on the first mortgage is below $729,750. The homeowner(s) cannot be in bankruptcy while applying for Keep Your Home California Program.

Will you be the next success story?
To find out more about these four programs, or to set up an appointment with a housing counselor who can discuss these programs with you, contact ForeclosureHelpSCC by calling us at (408) 293-6000. You can also email us at help@foreclosurehelpscc.org or visit our website: www.foreclosurehelpscc.org.

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

Nancy’s Nine Rules for an Effective Relationship With Your Housing Counselor

By Nancy Rueda, Housing Counselor at Asian Inc., one of the members of ForeclosureHelpSCC

Trying to find assistance during a difficult time with your mortgage may be overwhelming, but there are trained housing counselors who can help you learn about your options so that you can make an informed decision. Today I’m sharing a few tips that will help you get the most out of your time with your housing counselor.

1) Take notes – At a housing counseling appointment you will learn a lot of new information about mortgage assistance programs, and what your options are if you are having trouble paying your mortgage. As part of your appointment, we will also give you a handout that explains the foreclosure timeline and process in California. It can be really helpful to take notes so that you have something to refer back to after your appointment.

2) Bring questions to the appointment: Before meeting with your housing counselor, write your questions and bring them to your appointment. That way you won’t forget any important questions or concerns you have about your mortgage.

3) Arrive on time: Housing counselors are assisting a number of homeowners at any given time. By being on time, you can ensure that you get the full time allotted for your appointment with your housing counselor.

4) Share all important information with your housing counselor. There are two really important reasons for you to make sure you’re sharing all relevant information with your housing counselor. First, similar to a doctor making a diagnosis, a housing counselor needs all information about your mortgage, financial, and income situation so that they can do a thorough analysis and make sure you’re informed about all options available to help you. If you only provide them with half the information, then you may miss out on learning about all of your mortgage options. Second, if your housing counselor is advocating on your behalf with your bank or servicer, they need to be operating with the same information that the bank or servicer has in order to be an effective advocate for you.

5) Awareness: While friends and family members may have received a loan modification, each mortgage situation is different. The banks and servicers (and in some cases, an investor who may or may not approve of a modification) all have different programs and policies. This could mean that the same bank provides two very different modifications for two houses on the same street. Or, because of investors, the bank may be allowed to modify one mortgage, but not the other.

6) Documents, documents, documents: If you are submitting a request for a loan modification, you will be asked to provide a lot of documents to your housing counselor. Housing counselors can’t submit incomplete packages to the bank or servicer. By providing all of the documents at one time, you can make your case go smoother and it will be easier for your housing counselor to submit a package to the bank. If a housing counselor has to wait on documents, it can slow them down in submitting a package to your bank or servicer. In addition, during the time your housing counselor is waiting for “late” documents, the documents you already submitted may become out of date, and you will have to submit new ones.

7) Follow up with your servicer – After your housing counselor informs you that your workout packet has been submitted to your servicer, follow up with your servicer. Do not wait for your housing counselor to remind you. It’s suggested that you follow up with them every week and make sure to write down what was discussed, the date, time, the name of the person you spoke with and their ID number on your note book. If you are giving information to the bank or servicer, it should match the information that your housing counselor submitted in the package. If circumstances change (i.e. you get an increase or decrease in pay), let your housing counselor know.

8) Keep your housing counselor updated – There will be times when your bank or servicer will contact you directly and may request additional information from you. Don’t forget to contact your housing counselor and inform them of what was discussed or what was requested from you. If you had to fax documents to your servicer, send them to your housing counselor as well, that way they are aware of what was provided to your servicer.

9) Be patient, polite and proactive – As overwhelming as this process is, housing counselors are here to assist you in learning about your options, which may include a short sale, modification, or in some cases, letting go of the home and planning a successful “exit strategy.” Regardless of which path you decide to take, it’s a “team approach” and your active participation is important. Being patient, polite, and proactive will also be helpful in communicating with your bank or servicer, since you may have to be the messenger between different departments at your bank or servicer.

Have you worked with a housing counselor before? Do you have any comments or tips you would like to share?

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.

New Mortgage Servicing Rules Proposed- What Does it Mean for You? Part 2 of 2

By Sean Coffey, Program Manager at ForeclosureHelpSCC

In an earlier post,  we explained that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced proposed rules around loan servicing and we examined the first part of this proposal. In today’s post, we’ll examine the second part of the proposed loan servicing rules. The rules are nicknamed the “no runaround” rules, and address loan servicing issues that homeowners sometimes encounter with their mortgage loan servicers.

Under the new rules, banks or servicers will have to:

  • Credit a consumer’s account on the same date that the servicer received the payment.
  • Maintain accurate and accessible documents to minimize errors, provide oversight of any contractors and of any foreclosure attorneys working on behalf of the servicer.
  • If a homeowner notifies a servicer that they believe a mistake has been made, then the servicer would need to provide acknowledgement of the homeowner’s complaint, conduct an investigation, and respond to the homeowner in a timely manner.
  • Provide direct and ongoing access to servicer employees who have the power to assist homeowners.
  • Promptly review applications for programs that help avoid foreclosure.
  • Wait until after a review of an application is complete before moving forward on a foreclosure sale.
  • Inform homeowners when their packages are incomplete.
  • Allow homeowners to appeal certain servicer decisions.

Some of these proposed rules are similar to laws that are already on the books, for example the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act also requires banks and services to respond to homeowner’s request in a timely manner.

We have heard from several homeowners that the servicing of their loan has been transferred and in the process of transferring, the loan payments made to the first servicer aren’t being credited with the new servicer.

If this has happened to you, you may want to consider sending a qualified written request, also known as a “RESPA Request.” RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Under this act, a borrower can send a letter to their lender if there is a dispute about payments or other issues related to the loan, and their servicer is required to acknowledge the request within 20 business days and must try to resolve the issue within 60 business days.

If you do send a qualified written request, it’s important that you include this sentence at the beginning of your letter:

This is a “qualified written request” pursuant to the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (section 2605(e)).

And include this sentence at the end of the letter:

I understand that under Section 6 of RESPA you are required to acknowledge my request within 20 business days and must try to resolve the issue within 60 business days.

You should send your letter through registered mail so that you have proof that your bank or servicer received it.  You can see an example of a qualified written request on the HUD website: Example Qualified Written Request.

If you would like to learn more about the proposed rules, visit the “Regulation Room”  and see how the proposed rules would affect real-life situations. You can also provides comments on any loan servicing issues you’ve had, or on the proposed legislation.
Have you encountered any loan servicing issues with your mortgage? Any suggestions you would give to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as they consider implementing these rules?

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.