We know, it’s hard to believe, especially in a world of hard-to-read fine print and legal notices on everything from baseball tickets to dry cleaner receipts.
But Keep Your Home California is a free service, from the first call to the final confirmation. The federally funded, state-run program doesn’t ask for a dime from hard-hit homeowners.
However, we’re aware some folks are calling homeowners or posting online that they can handle the application process for a fee, sometimes as much as several hundred dollars. We’ve heard about these possible scams from Sacramento to San Diego.
So, let’s just cut to the chase – don’t hire and pay someone to help you with the application process for Keep Your Home California. Those dollars could be better spent buying groceries, covering health care bills or purchasing gas. We highly doubt anyone who is applying for the program really wants to give money away, so don’t.
If you receive a call offering assistance with the application for a fee, get as much information from the caller, thank them and say you will think about it. Then pick up the phone and call us immediately with the information at 888-954-5337.
We want to identify these potential scams and make sure they know we’re watching. The best way to combat the problem is address it head-on, and educate homeowners there is no need to pay to apply for Keep Your Home California.
Here are some of the traps a scammer might try to set for you, followed by our responses:
- The application process is complicated. Well, we can assist – and there are more than 30 HUD-approved centers with counselors available to help, from Arcata to San Diego. As a homeowner, you already have the documents – and the information – needed for the application process, it’s just a matter of gathering and sending in the paperwork.
- I don’t speak English. Our processing center counselors can accommodate literally ANY language.
- The caller says she can expedite the application and get the money faster. Guess what? The approval process takes the same amount of time, regardless. There is no fast-tracking of applications; it depends on how quickly we get the paperwork for review.
- The caller says he has a relationship with my servicer. Well, so does Keep Your Home California. In fact, we have relationships with about 65 participating servicers. And if the servicer is not on the list, you won’t even enter the application process; you simply aren’t eligible for the program. You would have better luck at buying a Lottery ticket to save your home.
- The caller says she is an approved housing counselor with Keep Your Home California. Well, check the list to verify: http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/counseling.htm. If the company is not on the list, then the caller is lying.
So save yourself a lot of aggravation and money. Simply call the processing center at 888-954-5337 for an application or to learn more about the program. Or contact one of our partnering HUD-approved counselors throughout the state. The counselors do not charge homeowners, and get paid by Keep Your Home California.
The only cost you will likely incur – making copies of the documents, maybe faxing in paperwork and postage. But Keep Your Home California does not collect fees from homeowners, we have $2 billion from the Hardest Hit Fund, with the money earmarked to help struggling homeowners.
Quite simply, our mission is to give money to assist eligible homeowners, not take it away. So far, we’ve approved more than $445 million and helped over 20,000 homeowners since the program started in February 2011.
Avoid the potential fraudsters and the scammers, and let us help you – for free.
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. The processing center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.