June is Homeownership Month: Keep Your Home California Stories – Meet Retired teacher Alpha R.

Keep Your Home California

25,501* Californians have qualified so far.

Maybe KYHC can help you keep your home, too.

Find out if you qualify!

Read about people that benefitted from Keep Your Home California…

alpha_r

Retired teacher Alpha R. got a firsthand lesson on the sometimes fast-paced foreclosure process – and the home-saving help from Keep Your Home California.

When Alpha got behind on her mortgage payments and received a foreclosure notice from her mortgage servicer in early 2012, she needed quick action to save her home in Yucca Valley in the High Desert of Southern California.

“I bugged everybody; I even called my Congressman’s office,” says Alpha, who was raised in New York City but has also lived in Atlanta, Tucson, and Virginia.

Then, she came across a housing counseling agency that made her aware of Keep Your Home California. She quickly completed the documents in hopes of stopping the foreclosure.

“I was scrambling to put the paperwork together,” says Alpha, who was playing beat the clock with the mortgage servicer. “There was literally a man outside my gate one day (looking to purchase the property).”

She applied for Keep Your Home California’s Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program, which offers as much as $25,000 to help hard-hit homeowners catch up on their payments. Alpha received $20,000 from the state-run program, enough money to get her back on track.

“It was tough, but it was doable,” Alpha says of the paperwork needed for the program. “Keep Your Home California was very smooth, very efficient.”

Now, Alpha can focus on a new project. She has opened a healing facility that encourages others to eat healthier and meditate.

“This is my purpose,” says the retired public school teacher for emotionally challenged students. “I still have things to do up here.”

With financial assistance from Keep Your Home California program, Alpha can turn her attention toward helping others.

“It was the best program I’ve ever run into,” says Alpha, who tells friends about the free, federally funded program. “There is something positive out there. You don’t have to give up.”

Testimonials

Homeowner Candy W. says persistence pays off.

The Sacramento-area resident applied for Keep Your Home California in July 2012, but was told she didn’t qualify.

Several months later, she was approved for a hefty principal reduction by the state-managed program that lowers her monthly mortgage payments by hundreds of dollars.

“It’s all about documentation,” says Candy, who bought her home eight years ago at the peak of the housing market. “You have to be persistent.”

Candy had looked into other programs; she had been approved for two loan modifications, which lowered her interest rate from 5.75% to about 4.75% — but those saved her only $30 per month.

She needed more help.

As a state employee, Candy had lost a significant amount of income from furloughs and through a divorce. So, when she heard about Keep Your Home California on Sacramento TV station KCRA and a local radio station, she decided to apply and see if the state mortgage-assistance program was an option.

“It was a shot in the dark,” says Candy, who admits she was stressed about her mortgage. “But I was hopeful that something would come along.”

She says the process was rather simple, but adds that homeowners need to complete the paperwork as soon as possible and be an active participant in the process.

“Everything just has to be documented,” she says. “It’s just about following along with your processor.”

Now, she tells coworkers and friends about Keep Your Home California.

“It’s pretty encouraging,” says Candy, who has detailed the program to at least 10 coworkers during the past several months. “This is a major help.”

audrey_m

Homeowner Audrey M. was committed to keeping her home – and finding a full-time position.

She accomplished both with the help of Keep Your Home California.

“It’s my home; I love it,” says Audrey, who bought her Elk Grove house 10 years ago. “I didn’t want to lose it, and I didn’t want to rent it out.”

Audrey applied for Keep Your Home California in March, but was first denied since she cashed-out when she refinanced her home. A few months later, a counselor called Audrey and told her to apply again since some guidelines had changed.

“It happened very fast,” Audrey says of the application process. “It was very clear, very easy to understand.”

Of course, Audrey, who was out of work for 20 months, says her three-decade career in the banking industry likely helped her speed along the application process. But she adds most homeowners could complete the application and tackle the paperwork with little trouble.

After sending some documents and writing a hardship letter, Audrey was approved for the program, allowing her to focus on the all-important job search in one of the hardest-hit industries in the state.

Keep Your Home California made her monthly mortgage payments for five months – July through November. Her sixth, and final, mortgage payment from the state program was never sent.

And Audrey couldn’t have been happier – she found a job in nearby Roseville.

“It’s a great program,” said Audrey, who started her new banking position in November.

Audrey, like many program recipients, touts Keep Your Home California to friends facing difficult times who are also looking for work.

“I wish more people would learn about the program,” she says.

michelle_v

As a full-time student, physical therapist assistant and homeowner, Michelle was nearly overwhelmed.

Between rising tuition and a mortgage payment that had just increased, she was worried that a default was just around the corner. Decreasing property values left her in a position where she was unable to qualify for existing refinance programs.

Being proactive by nature, Michelle worked with a local nonprofit counselor to explore other potential options and learned about a principal reduction program being offered through Keep Your Home California. “I didn’t want to wait,” Michelle says. “I’d never been late on my mortgage payment because I knew it would just add more stress to my life. I knew I wanted to keep my home – walking away just wasn’t an option for me.”

After her over-the-phone counseling session with Keep Your Home California, Michelle was quickly qualified for a principal reduction of $50,000. Paying down her principal meant restructuring Michelle’s mortgage payment to a level she could easily afford. “I never had credit card debt,” says Michelle. “But I was living paycheck to paycheck. With both my school costs and mortgage payments increasing, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to continue to make ends meet.  Now I not only have a mortgage payment I can afford, I also have enough money to take some extra classes and get my degree sooner.”

Adding a principal reduction component to the Keep Your Home California suite of programs was a necessity according to California Housing Finance Agency executive director, Claudia Cappio. “Property values have decreased significantly in California, leaving many borrowers with so much negative equity they are not able to take advantage of the numerous refinance programs that are already available. The Principal Reduction Program was specifically created to help homeowners who are serious about living in their homes and creating longer term stability for their families by giving them an opportunity to qualify for a more sustainable modification. It certainly isn’t a panacea, but for a lot of families who don’t have any other options available to them, we believe this is a good and fair solution.”

It was certainly the answer Michelle Vera was looking for. “For me, this is a permanent solution to my mortgage problems.”

 

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>