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Keep Your Home California Program On-Track, While Federal Real Estate Foreclosure Programs Flounder for Unemployed

The average length of unemployment is now nine months, according to the Treasury Department, but Federal foreclosure help for the unemployed only lasts for three months. The Treasury Department was given $46 billion to spend on keeping homeowners in their houses; to date, the agency. Big Deal.

Meanwhile, the Keep Your Home California program, using $2 Billion in Federal Money, has enlisted lenders servicing about 80% of California Residential Mortgages. The California program requires the participation of lenders, and for the unemployed, will provide mortgage payments of up to $3,000 per month for up to six months. If you are looking to participate in the program, go HERE.

The program is run by the California Housing Finance Agency, created as the state’s affordable housing bank to make low interest loans for low and moderate income Californians.

There are four different programs under “Keep Your Home California”,
including the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program. In this program, the homeowner qualifies if their household income is 120% or less of the Housing & Community Development Area Median income.

1336136_chimney.jpgMedian household income, family of 4, for several counties:
Amador $67,900 Calaveras $64,100 Contra Costa $90,300 El Dorado $73,100 Placer $73,100 Sacramento $73,100 San Mateo $99,400 Sierra $57,400 Tuolumne $59,700 Yolo $72,500 Yuba $56,300
The loan CANNOT be more then three payments behind.

Another program is for reinstating a loan temporarily delinquent due to hardship, by payment of up to $15,000. There is a principal reduction program for owners with severely negative equity. Lastly, there is a transition assistance program, used in conjunction with a short sale or deed-in-lieu.

The California program seems to be effective for some troubled homeowners. Though it is too late for many, the country is less than a third of the way through the underwater housing, so there are many opportunities to help people ahead. The most important characteristic is that lenders are participating. Every Sacramento and Placer County experienced real estate attorney hears constantly about problems people are having communicating with lenders, be it for home modifications, or other federal programs. In most cases, they are strung along in trial programs, then denied, and in some cases the foreclosure proceeds ahead anyway. The befuddled, now former, homeowner is facing evicting after paying monthly what the lender told them to pay. In contrast, those volunteering to participate in the state program are subject to the program rules. Amazingly, the agency managing the program is not reliant on the troubled state budget- it is self financed.