When a homeowner starts to struggle with their mortgage payments, they often don’t know where to turn. Concerns about scam artists and a general mistrust of banks and lenders dissuade some homeowners from looking for help. That’s where licensed real estate agents come in.
At Keep Your Home California, we’ve found that the first person distressed homeowners often turn to is their real estate agent.
As a trusted source for advice and assistance, you can help homeowners find out more about Keep Your Home California and the many ways the programs can help families avoid foreclosure, reduce their mortgage payments and stay in their home for years to come.
The Keep Your Home California website, www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org, is an excellent place to find answers to any questions about the programs – for you and for your clients. The Spanish language site is www.ConservaTuCasaCalifornia.org.
A six-minute “Welcome” video on the homepages of both sites offers a general overview of the programs and explains how to apply, which can easily be done over the phone by calling 888.954.KEEP (5337).
If you would like a few suggestions for how to describe the programs to your clients, here are a few “talking points”:
- Eighteen states including California, were designated by the US Treasury as “hardest hit” because they are struggling with unemployment rates at or above the national average along with steep home price declines.
- California was allocated nearly $2 billion in federal funding and created four separate programs to help California families struggling to pay their mortgages.
- Homeowners should know that they will never be asked to pay a fee to participate in Keep Your Home California.
Unemployment Mortgage Assistance
Mortgage payment assistance of up to $3,000 per month for as long as nine months, for unemployed homeowners who are collecting benefits from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD).
Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program
For homeowners who suffered a financial hardship, have recovered, but have fallen behind on their mortgage payments due to the hardship. If the homeowner is now in a position to make their monthly payments going forward, they may qualify for up to $25,000 to help them catch up on the past due amount.
Principal Reduction Program
Homeowners who are suffering from a financial hardship and owe more than their home is worth can qualify for financial assistance to help pay down the principal balance of a mortgage loan. Up to $100,000 in principal reduction is available to help homeowners obtain a more affordable, sustainable monthly payment.
Transition Assistance Program
For homeowners who have simply run out of options and are not able to remain in their homes. If they agree to a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, up to $5,000 is available to help smooth the transition to other housing.
- The homeowner’s mortgage servicer must be participating in the program they are interested in. A list of participating servicers can be found at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org/participating.htm
- Homeowners must also:
- Be suffering from a documented, economic hardship
- Meet low-to moderate-income limits. A county-by-county list is available at www.KeepYourhomeCalifornia.org/eligibility.htm
- Own and occupy the home as the primary residence in California
- Owe less than $729,750 on the first mortgage
- Not be in an active bankruptcy
Other eligibility requirements can be found on the Keep Your Home California website.
In spite of intense marketing, outreach, and advertising for Keep Your Home California, there are still many homeowners who desperately need our help, but are unaware of the tremendous, free mortgage assistance we can provide.
We know you worked hard to help your clients find their homes; now you can help them keep it, with Keep Your Home California.
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