Transparency helps homeowners – and Keep Your Home California

Keep Your Home California is committed to openness and transparency, educating consumers, encouraging comments, and sharing the facts and figures of its free mortgage-assistance program.

It’s been the promise from the first day of the federally funded program and remains more than seven years – and 81,500-plus homeowners – later.

The approach has allowed the state-managed program to succeed – and thrive. Comments, suggestions and, yes, even complaints have helped Keep Your Home California evolve and expand when needed.

Keep Your Home California’s website is the foundation for the commitment to transparency. The website – redesigned, in part, to improve transparency in early 2013 – offers a lot of data on the program. Online visitors will find charts, graphics, an interactive map and quarterly reports.

Some of the information available on the Reports & Statistics page include:

  • How many homeowners have been helped and funding issued by county.
  • How many dollars awarded by each of the four programs and Keep Your Home California overall.
  • How much Keep Your Home California funding remains for homeowners.
  • Federal quarterly reports and the annual audits on Keep Your Home California.
  • How Keep Your Home California has fared compared to the other states that received funding through the U.S. Treasury Department’s Hardest Hit Fund. California’s funding issued to homeowners is more than double the amount from any other state.
  • A link to the Economic Impact of Keep Your Home California: A Statewide and Regional Analysis, a detailed look at how the program has helped homeowners, neighborhoods, businesses, and local and state government. The analysis found that for every $1 of funding issued, the state’s economy benefited by $2.

Keep Your Home California also established a monthly Servicer Scorecard page, sharing information about the 240 mortgage servicers participating in the program. Data on the mortgage servicers – the companies that collect the monthly payments from homeowners – is listed, including how many transactions the servicer had each month, how responsive they are, and how they are doing when it comes to referring customers to Keep Your Home California.

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The “Success Stories” are one of the most popular pages on the website. Keep Your Home California has shared more than 100 stories from real homeowners who have benefited from using the program. All of the homeowners’ stories are provided voluntarily and only the first name and the first initial of each homeowner’s last name are used to protect their privacy.

Of course, Keep Your Home California’s commitment to transparency expands beyond the website. The program has issued almost 30 news releases and published more than 100 blog posts (this is No. 101) detailing the latest information, from changing requirements to expanding programs.

Keep Your Home California also embraced social media when the program launched back in 2011. Keep Your Home California has a Facebook account and Twitter handle, where information on the program and mortgage/real estate-related news are shared. Facebook allows consumers to ask about Keep Your Home California, which has a 100% response rate. Keep Your Home California’s YouTube channel features commercials and interviews about the program.

Finally, real homeowners and their very real stories have been used in commercials – on TV, online and the radio.

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In the never-ending commitment to transparency, Keep Your Home California is encouraging homeowners to apply for the mortgage-assistance program as soon as possible. Keep Your Home California is entering the final stretch and could stop accepting applications within the next several weeks.

In order to apply for the state-managed program, homeowners must have a financial hardship, such as a job loss, cut in pay, divorce, death in the family, or extraordinary medical expenses.  Homeowners must also meet county-by-county income limits. Severe negative equity is considered a financial hardship under the Principal Reduction Program.

Homeowners interested in learning more or applying for the program should call the counseling center at 888-954-KEEP (5337), visit www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org, or www.ConservaTuCasaCalifornia.org for Spanish speakers.

The counseling center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Calls can be taken in virtually any language.

 

 

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