LBISD KeepYourHomeCalifornia

Friday, August 18th


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of the get a count San Diego radio stations and Gary Lee. Keep your home California is a federally funded program for California homeowners. To help them stay in their homes maintain an affordable mortgage payment. And avoid foreclosure joining us this morning to explain the program. Is keep your home California marketing and external affairs director Steve Gallagher welcome Steve thank you very much for having me appreciate being here. Let's start with the basics okay. I think a lot of people have heard about. Keep your home California. And Hawaii have an open like myself there's probably a lot of people that don't know much about a Solana Starr from the beginning. Endesa background picture. Yes that's great so keeping her in California is a government program it is federally funded but it's managed by the state. And this all originated out of the economic downturn that we had a few years ago win. You know housing prices went way down unemployment went way out. So the federal government recognize that there were are states that had been hit really hard by the economic crisis. And implement what they call the hardest hit fund program which the United States Department of the Treasury oversees. And so California was one of those states that was hit we actually were hit hardest of all of all the states in the nation. And so they recognize that and we got the most funding most federal funding. And the provide that money to. To implement foreclosure prevention programs the idea was to help stabilize communities. And keep people in their homes. So started back what does 2008 that's from the recession like that that's when the recession has gone on the funding came through about late 2010 in our programs were fully implemented. In. Early Tony elevenths a February 2011 is kind of who we considered the kick off fully implement we did have kind of a test program going to late twenties and is it basically for for low income homeowners. Oftentimes people are kind of surprised to hear her income limits are there higher than they might think. And so just to give an example here in San Diego counting. The the income limit is about a 1111000. Dollars actually closer 1121000 dollars 1111805. Dollars. So if your household income. Is below that number you could qualify for these programs are considered low to moderate income. While you're right that is a pretty surprising. Now you said that other states. Have this program to how many other states are there there were nineteen total states well one of those nineteen was Washington DC so I guess technically not a state but there was nineteen entities nineteen states we'll just call on the hard fund states. That got funding from US treasury to implement the hardest hit fund program. I'm the California got the most we got 2.3 six billion with a B 2.3 six billion dollars. From the federal government to implement these programs. And that's for a few reasons one we have huge population here too they saw what the unemployment rates where the foreclosure rates were here in California. And knew that there was quite a bit need in this state in this is ongoing is there an end date to. There is so. Now are in because originally it was it was a little bit sooner but now the Indy is December 31 that's Tony twenty. So we need to get all of the funding now by that date if we have anything left over we give it back to US treasury. We are very confident that we're gonna have all the funding now well ahead of that December 31 120 deadline. I don't know when exactly how I you know can't predict the future but. We are on pace to use the funding well ahead of schedule and that's exactly what we wanna do we know there are still need. In California. And we wanna make sure that this assistance is getting to the homeowners. They need is so we can keep them in their homes we can stabilize those communities so if if for some reason. You're ahead of schedule in your run out of money before him that's it. That's right it's it's the until we use all the funding or December. 31 220 whichever comes first. But that would be a good problem to have if we if we use all the fun evening getting out to homeowners and we end early. That will be good problem because it means that we have helped as many people as we can with the funding that we were allocated. And you said that the department that you work force the one that regulates the essar is so so I work for the California housing finance agency and our agency traditionally was trying to help people buy homes. But you know the economic crisis that we had a few years ago was really unprecedented and it just seemed. That it was the best. In DT at the state level for the federal government to grant these funds to so is housing finance agencies because every state has won. And so it was kind of working from the other side of the coin rather than thinking people to buy a home trying to get people stand their homes. I think it was really good idea by the by US treasury by the the federal government to do this because. They recognize that when there wasn't a one size fits all solution to what was going on. Ended the states would have a much better idea of what the problem was in their state and they can design the programs to address it. So even though we say that there is nineteen total states that have this assistance yeah. Not every state has the same programs each state was able to design the programs their own way now there is a lot of similarity across some of the states. But there are other programs out there that we don't have here in California. And there are programs that we have here that they don't have and some of the other hardest hit funds so are their programs then we in to keep your home California program that's right yes so it's it gets sometimes little bit confusing so we refer to keep your home California as a foreclosure prevention program. But it's actually made out of five individual programs and and and I'm sure will go through each of them a little bee in just a little bit here but. The five different programs address different hardships different aspects of economic downturn you know how how people were being affected. We we have seen on unemployment program for people that are unemployed we have a principal reduction program for people that owe more than their home is worth. So we get into those we talk about the programs but yes there are. Different programs that help in different place so keep your home cal for a Kennedy am umbrella that's right yeah that's a good way of phrasing it keep her on California's the umbrella for the different. Foreclosure prevention program. It's OK so let's talk about the program how does or or for small. What are the eligibility requirements and other requirements he mentioned something about the income. Yeah that's that and that's a great question and that's a perfect place to start because we do you have eligibility requirements that apply to all of the programs. And one is exactly right that we talked about low and moderate income so if you have an income household income the exceed our limit. Unfortunately we're not going to be able to help deal. This is also only for homeowners we don't have any rental assistance this is specifically set out. To keep homeowners in their homes that its mortgage payment assistance we're trying to help them with their mortgage that they might be having a difficult time I'm making the payments. The servicer which for most people their servicer is their bank but it's the company you make your mortgage payments to every month the servicer must participate. In our program in order for us to provide the assistance because we are sending the funding directly to the servicer on behalf of the homeowner. Now in the early days of the program this was sometimes an obstacle when we first started in February 2011. We had something like ten servicers on board. Today we have over I think we're getting close to 270. And it covers 95% of the mortgages in the state. So Mo more than likely your mortgage you you will be able to participate with our program but your servicer must participate. If it's not the most important part of our eligibility criteria it's definitely up there you need to have a financial hardship in order to qualify for this assistance. And what that means is something that happened beyond your control that negatively affected your ability to pay your mortgage. Financial hardships they're really broad there's a lot of different things to qualify so we can be that you lost your job maybe you had medical bills that were unexpected. Maybe there was a death in the family there was divorce there was something that happened. They have affected your household income and made it so your mortgage was more difficult to handle. But the financial hardship is really key this is not this these programs are set up for somebody to just call us and say. Hey you know what I wanna stop making my mortgage making you guess that unit. No we can't if you hit this is for people that you know I've had that. Had that hardship and need some help to you know can get back on their feet. So do you have a list of the hardships we we have examples there there's not like a finite list because. Every circumstance is going to be a little bit different. Those the things that I rattled off just a moment ago. Those are kind of the more common ones that we see. But there's there's a lot of different things they can qualify. Really the key is you just need to get in touch with one of our representatives of the call center. Which by the way is 808954. Key or EDD 9545337. If you call one of our representatives there. They are happy help you. Figure out you know what what what's your situation are you gonna qualify talkies who right there on the phone I know we'll talk about the application process and a little bit too but. Just wanted to mention that while you're talking about the eligibility criteria if you ever having doubts or any questions our our folks there are happy to help. And and they can help you through the through the application process is well that's right yeah the the application process the whole thing is actually guided so. What will I'll just give kind of a brief overview over right now. So we mean when you first call our call center you get tucks them either gonna ask you may be eight to ten questions. And there are real simple high level like are you homeowner do you live in California. And if it looks like you might be a candidate for the assistance. Then you won't hear it referred to one of our counselors. I counseling session is pretty much the application so that first phone call that first person you talk to. It's just to kind of services screen we don't wanna waste your time if you obviously don't qualify if your income is over that limit we don't wanna make you stay on the phone any longer in active. But if it does look like your candidate. Can you go through counseling socialist typically takes about thirty to 45 minutes it just depends if you have all your paperwork in order in your ready to answer the questions. At the end of that phone call. You'll at least have an idea of whether or not you're Kennedy it's not final eligibility. But we will be able to tell you hey yes you look like you might qualify. And if that's the case we will send you a list of documents were emailed to you or we can mail the tea whatever you prefer. Send you a list of documents that you need to return to us. To verify the information you provided over the phone. Once you get all those documents and that's if your into the deal is done. And each step has been guided you know whether it's with a wrap on the phone earth with our list of documents that we give you. From there we work with your servicer on your behalf. We do all the processing right there. So yeah we we try to make it as easy as possible there's of course gonna be situations that come up where and of the might be. Questions that you need to call back and get answers or hey I don't have this document but we try to make it simple and straightforward as we can so again if your servicer. Your mortgage company is not on your list you cannot participate. That's right but what we say in that case is if if you happen to be. One of the small percentage of people out there that has a servicer that's not participating. You can do a couple things one you can call your servicer directly and you can say. Hey there's this program out there and they might be able to help help me make my payments to servicers obviously gonna wanna continue to get the payments from meal. So they might come on board the other thing is you can let our representatives of the Colson or no. I'm with the servicer and they're not on your list. We're always we're always looking for people and and companies you know to add to analysts. Now we can't make them we can't we can't twist their arms and say you have to sign up it is their choice whether or not. A servicers gonna come on board and we have had some politely declined. And they have their own reasons for that. But if if we find out about a servicer that's not participating. We at least wanna have a conversation with them to see we get them on board and like you say you've grown quite a bit but the number of for a servicers so far yeah yes it's been very nice we've we've enjoyed good partnership with our with our servicing partners and down yep I think the proof is in those numbers now as their feet there is no fee that's a great question and a lot of times people. Wonder about this because you might hear some of those ads or see a flier whatever your neighborhood hey I can help you stop foreclosure just pained me. You know three grander whatever. Do you not work with those people I'm here to tell all your listen here's. Run the other way because there is a lot of great information and a lot of resources out there available 100% three. Keep your eye on California is one option that you can pursue government program for you apply if you qualify the assistance. Is free that the goal is to help stabilize these communities so it's it's doing its job if we can get the assistance to homeowners prevent the foreclosure. However if you don't qualify for keep your home California. There are also. Hud approved housing counseling agencies all across the state we work with a lot of I'm where you can actually go and apply for keep your home in person in the week we have partner agencies that do that. But they also work with other programs they do a lot of other services credit counseling all kinds of stuff that they can help outweigh. And they provide all of their services 100% free of charge. And then the other thing just call your servicer I mean rather than working with somebody could you might be intimidated leader afraid to you know talk to your servicer about having problems. The best thing you can do is try to work work it out because if you just put your head in the stand the problems not gonna go away. And so did the the main take away though is don't spend any money and pay somebody who says they can take care of this for you because. You don't need to spend them any did you there's there's a lot of people out there that can help you free of charge now's there a list of the and the mortgage companies that you work with fatigue is go to account so there are you talk about the services are yes yes there is on our website we have a link that says participating servicers. You can go on their and you concede. Every single one that signed up and which of the keep your own California programs they have partnered with us on because some some offer all five. Some wall only offer to it's it's up to them like I said but you can see. What their participation level is going to that would webpage. Now any other eligibility requirements. You know we we covered the big stuff I mean there's the you know your outstanding principal balance has to be below 72900750. So if you still owed. You know like 800000 dollars on loan that's going to be over the limit that we can help with. It does need to be single family home. 114 units. So even if you if you live in one of the four units if you have you know. Place where there's four. Places all attached as long you live in one we can help out there but it needs to be your home that you live in it can't be rental property. You can have a rental property. And get assistance on the home you live in but weren't we don't provide assistance on you know and in income property. It's only for first mortgages. Sold just like the rental property you can have a second mortgage. And get assistance on your first but we're not gonna provide any assistance on the second. And then couple of the things you cannot be in an active bankruptcy. So if you were an act of bankruptcy we're gonna tell you you know maybe come back to us what has been discharged and we can possibly helping them. In your home can not be abandoned they can't or can damned if it is then unfortunately. If it's not a livable home we we can't help to keep you went. OK and you do credit checks right. That's right we do we view run just a credit check at the council said it does not have any effect on homeowners credit score. We primarily do that because we need to know the whole situation of what's going to make sure that you are who you say you are in that you on the home ECU loan. But we're not looking at it. From a standpoint of we're not like trying to qualify for something and it's considered soft poll. When we look at it so it doesn't have any impact. We don't report anything to the girls. OK so you talk a little bit about the application process is there more that's pretty much did what I what I ran through the I'm coal and then returning doc counselors. When we work with the service that we get it all straightened out to see you know that we can move forward with funding and the next thing you would hear from our routes would be. Congratulations you qualified and you know here's where you mean your benefits are gonna start pretty simple. We we try to make it simple I don't wanna I don't wanna make it sound like it's the easiest thing we we do we try to English before any can be we've we had some people they. Had a very easy time. It's it's you know it's a really similar process that you went through when you've got your lawn so you have your. Documents in order it's going to be simple for you if you you know you have like your tax. Your tax records and you have. Something they can prove residency in income you know pay stubs that happens if you have all that stuff together it can be very simple. If you know your hardship. Is a difficult thing to explain. And you know you're having a hard time proven stuff. Then it might be a little more difficult for you but yet we we we tried to make it as simple as we can't. So so the the process. What what's the timeframe and that formed for one that's fairly simple that's that's agree that's a great question so we've we've been able to help people inside a month from the daily pick up the phone. Thirty days or less later that does happen that is not I don't want it that's not the average us write the norm by. It it does certainly happened our average than are the median processing time. Is fifty days 50. Which is which is still pretty good view usually less than two months there are cases where it will take you know two to three months it just depends like it says on the circumstances. But fifty days is the median so best to have your ducks in order. If you can Yankee you're getting don't get all your stuff together before you call if you can't. And that will help and you know I mentioned the Hud approved housing counseling agencies. Here in San Diego there's a place called nab a core solutions it's a nonprofit. Hud approved housing counseling agency. They can help with that process if you wanna go apply with them and you bring in a stack of paperwork they can help you sift through them figure of these the documentary again in need. Wean you apply and in any of our agencies out there I just mentioned the one that's here in San Diego. But there are several agencies and you can see them all on our website if you go to the meat with a counselor link. You can see all the agencies who work with across the state. So they can help you do that in person but if you're more comfortable calling to and from the comfort of your own home we can help you over the phone as well. Well that would cut outs and time you came because then you know what you need to bring its you bring it and you have to keep coming back. Which for stuff is really personal preference yes I mean for some people they love that they love having that option where they can go meet with somebody in person yeah. Now since since. Keep your home California started. How many homeowners has the program helps in the state and what about your San Diego County yeah we're in the state we're getting very close to 75000. Households that where we've provided assistance. Which you know that we think that's a great number we're very proud of it but we know they're still a lot more out there. But 75000. That that we're approaching one point eight billion that we provided an assistant. Now here in San Diego counting. It's been. In San Diego County we've done almost 6000. So all of those 75000 households in the state almost 6000 of them have been here in San Diego County. And the total here has been close to a 140 million that we provide itself. Pretty pretty good number down like I said we were we're happy to have you know those good numbers hold up but we know there's more people out there. They can use this assistance so aside from the obvious how with this program. How it. Else does it benefit as well so in a community we started to talk a little bit about the programs and I never actually kind of dove into and Sophie I called on give a brief overview of each of the five chair and then and then kind of get into how that helps other people to. So our most popular program is the unemployment mortgage assistance program that's been used the most. That program will make your mortgage payments while you're out of work now the key without an easy need to qualify. Four EDT benefits if you get unemployment from the state you can give your mortgage paid for up to eighteen months while you're trying to find a job. The whole purpose of it's a bridge program we know that you don't get a lot from unemployment. So we want you to be able to focus on getting yourself re employed where you can make your mortgage payments and this will help you get their help you get back to being on your feet. The principal reduction program is our biggest program we can provide 200000. Dollars through that program and it's it helps and a couple ways. The first is if you owe more than your home is worth to be had negative equity. We can reduce the principal balance due to closer to a positive equity situation for if you have an unaffordable payment which. All kinds of people in this state have an affordable payment that expensive to live here and if you have an unaffordable payment and that was caused by some hardship perhaps you've got your hours kind of work you're not working as much overtime as he used to or something. We can reduce the principal balance to GE you to a more affordable place usually cuts off I think the average is about somewhere between three and 400 dollars. I'm on your monthly payments once we take down that overall balance that you know. There we have the mortgage green statement assistance program that's our program is designed to catch you up if you fell behind on your mortgage so let's say you had some medical bills. And you would you know obviously paying nose and fell behind in your mortgage payment now you recovered your back and feel you're working in jobs you can make your monthly payments. But you don't have an extra ten grand laying around to catch up on those payments that you fell behind that's exactly what this program was designed to do. He can catch you up up to 54000 dollars as long as you've recovered from hardship. Then we have the transition assistance program. This is the program for people they unfortunately are not going to be able to stay in their home. But they still prevent the foreclosure by doing a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure with their servicer. This program can provide up to 5000 dollars to help them. With relocation assistance basically. And then our final program which is a pilot program we have specifically designed to help senior homeowners with reverse mortgages. And it helps catch them up. On property expenses they they fell behind council Lotta times there will be change in and household circumstance may be a spouse passed away or something. And they don't have the same income and they get behind on their property taxes or insurance it's this filly that's you know associated with their reverse mortgage. We can catch them up on that and actually pay out twelve months in advance we can provide assistance to 25000 dollars to that program. And and again these are all programs under the umbrella of keep on cal that's correct all five of those blows yet that was my. Real quick version of the five keep us pray California programs that's that's incredible again you know. I'm one of those people that did did not know. Hardly anything as I just knew the name keep your home California I'm learning a lot today. Well that's that's half the battle I'm glad you knew the name the end I that's why I appreciate you having me on the talk about the stuff so we can get the word out to people let them know these are real programs and others. More to it then then you than you might realize. Now now you recently had a completed an economic impact report we talk a little bit about that yet but he's minutes absolutely. So and that Kenny just your question you asked earlier about how how do you help other other ways you help people besides the obvious to prevent in the foreclosure so. Yeah we did the economic impact report. Now I guess it was real early this year early Tony seventeen it was based on data from when the program started through the end of 2015. And what we asked it was a professor of economics. And in what he did was he analyze all of our data deceit. What was it actually doing in the economy was it having a benefit. And what he found was for every one dollar and assistance that we provide. Two dollars and economic activity was preserved so the way that that works is if you prevent a foreclosure from happening in the neighborhood. Then that means you pervaded the property values from going down because every time a foreclosure happens the surrounding properties their value goes down effective. It helps local businesses because people weren't getting displaced and moving so you you have you you're keeping those customers as they need to be. Need to buy groceries and any need to buy gas there's other things that you're still gonna have to pay for. Within the community it helps local government and it preserves tax revenue because they didn't lose somebody from the community. So. It was just a look at. How the dollars are having this impact in the economy and there really is this ripple effect they they goes out. And helps in a lot of different ways and we were we encourage we didn't know what the results would be when we we we were curious ourselves because we wanted to make sure that. There was actually helping to stabilize these communities that's a big part of the goal. And and so we were encouraged that this was the results that we got back when he did this analysis. And and it really does show that even if you haven't directly received assistance from keeping her in California. Indirectly you have to you have benefited from the program. That's great. Before we wrap up may be just real quickly again eligibility requirements. Yeah an and and also let people know how to how to find a student so it's it's once again the number is eighty 954. Key. Or 8089545337. You can also go online go to this is for real dot org. You can go there and we post a ton of information about the programs on our website. So this is for real dot org as where you can find information. We have it in Spanish as well I you guys can peca dot org if you wanna see the information in Spanish. And just like you said the brief review of the eligibility requirements to program for homeowners they had a financial hardship that's affected their ability to pay their mortgage. They are moto moderate income income limits are available on the website once again for San Diego counting. It's a 1111805. Dollars it's got to be your owner occupied residents. That you you're getting assistance on. And and your servicer must participate in order for us to provide the assistance because we provide the assistance to the servicer on your behalf. OK and N are you guys on social media we are yet to go to great question great reminder we do we were pretty active on social media we have a FaceBook and Twitter account. We also have our YouTube channel where we post some videos. So you can go to it's actually linked to our website if you go to this is for real dot org and click through you'll see at the bottom date we have FaceBook and Twitter. We're we're always trying to get information now I mean we we want. To get this assistance out of the homeowners that need it who were always trying to get information out to people about what's going on with the programs we have a monthly newsletter you can subscribe to. So he had a lot a lot of different ways to keep up with keep your home California if you would like to. Oh great Steve thanks for being on Saturday thanks for well all you do. Great service that your your providing it keep your home California we appreciate it thank you very much again for having me. That includes another addition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed are living veteran San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management of the and it comes San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Until next time I'm Jerry Lee had a great week.