Because two programs are often better than one

Sometimes doubling up is a very good thing. Just ask some hard-hit homeowners who applied for one of Keep Your Home California’s four programs and were later approved for a second program.

Yep, doubling up on programs is possible – and even encouraged.

Now, before you begin clicking on each program and start dreaming of a large payout, we will remind you the maximum assistance per household is $50,000. Plus, there are other factors to consider, including household income and your servicer must participate in both programs.

Ten lenders are enrolled in all four programs – and 20 participate in three programs, including Bank of America, Quicken Loans and U.S. Bank. So, almost half of the current 65 servicers participate in at least three programs, making eligibility for multiple programs a real possibility (check the list of participating servicers www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/participating.htm).

Homeowners often ask about being approved for two programs, especially on our Facebook page (“Like” us at facebook.com/keepyourhomecalifornia and you will see). Now, each homeowner is different, from their household income to loan-to-value ratio, but more and more homeowners are taking advantage of layering more than one Keep Your Home California program.

In fact, the programs are designed to work together.

The Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program, which offers as much as $20,000 for homeowners to catch up on payments, can follow the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program. Under the unemployment program, out-of-work homeowners collecting state Employment Development Department benefits can receive as much as $3,000 per month for up to nine months – or a maximum of $27,000.

If you do the math, you will see the combined maximum assistance under the two programs is $47,000, which would qualify under the $50,000 limit.

And the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program can follow the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance and the Principal Reduction programs, which offers as much as $100,000 in assistance, with a limit of $50,000 from Keep Your Home California. The unemployment program can follow the other two programs because you never know when someone might lose their job.

Finally, the Transition Assistance Program, which offers homeowners as much as $5,000 to relocate with an approved short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, can follow any of the three programs, as long as the homeowner has not surpassed the $50,000 limit.

If you would like more information about Keep Your Home California, check www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org (or www.ConservaTuCasaCalifornia.org in Spanish) or call 888-954-5337 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

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We want to connect, help jobless homeowners with mortgage payments

Keep Your Home California’s counseling center has been busier than normal in recent weeks, following an aggressive effort to connect with more than 1 million out-of-work residents receiving jobless benefits from the state Employment Development Department.

A flyer detailing the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program has reached about 1.1 million jobless residents, encouraging those who own homes to call and learn more about the state-run program.

The program offers as much as $3,000 per month for up to nine months – or $27,000 total – to help financially strapped homeowners with their mortgage payments, giving them the chance to focus on finding work. With the bad economy and the difficult job market, it’s our most popular program.

So far, about 12,000 out-of-work homeowners receiving jobless benefits have called the counseling center in connection to the EDD flyer, but there are many more who could be helped. If you’re aware of a jobless homeowner who could benefit from Keep Your Home California, please let them know about the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (click here for more information http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/uma.htm.)

Sure, the program has eligibility requirements, including income limits and your mortgage servicer must participate in Keep Your Home California, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. You can check income limits at http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/files/income.pdf and the list of participating servicers at http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/participating.htm. By the way, all 65 servicers participating in Keep Your Home California are enrolled in the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program.

Of course, with the EDD flyer hitting mailboxes in recent weeks, calls have greatly increased at the counseling center. We’ve increased staffing to accommodate the calls and ease the wait, but as you can imagine, there are many Californians seeking help from the program. We would appreciate your patience, and remember that we’re open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The best days to call are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, when the counseling center receives fewer calls.

If you would like more information about Keep Your Home California, check http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/ (or http://www.conservatucasacalifornia.org/ in Spanish) or call 888-954-5337.

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net