LBISD KeepYourHomeCalifornia

Monday, June 4th


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 NI com San Diego radio stations and apparently. Keep your home California is a service for California homeowners who have suffered a financial hardship. Keep your own California programs are designed to help homeowners stay in their homes and maintain an affordable mortgage payments. Joining us this morning to explain Alan Ball works is keep your home California marketing and external affairs director Steve Gallagher. Welcome Steve thank you very much for having me this morning Gary it's see you again now you on the show last year around this time I think. Yeah it's been probably about a year and we've been very busy and I appreciate you having this backing here to keep getting the word out about the program let's talk about keep your home California let's start from the beginning. What is keep your home California. Keep your home California is the state of California's foreclosure prevention program. It is a federally funded program but it's managed by the state. And homeowners can get a 200000. Dollars in mortgage payment assistance to help them avoid foreclosure and do you dislike the title says keep them in their homes. And win win and and how to this program coming out. So the program was fully launched hearing California in February of 2011 so we're just over seven years old now. I'm but the federal funding actually came from US treasury in a way they did was the designated eighteen states that were hardest hit by the economic downturn had a bunch of foreclosures and high unemployment rate. And those eighteen states got funding to implement foreclosure prevention programs ours here in California is keep your home California. And we got 2.3 six billion dollars from the federal government. So the sound any other states or have programs like this eighteen total states and there's a lot of similarity between the programs that no two states are exactly the same. I think it was actually something that the federal government. Recognized that there wasn't going to be one size fits all solutions so homeowners that are having a hard time staying in their home in Alabama. May be facing different hardships in different circumstances than folks here in California. So it's a federally federally funded program. And and that are all last year when you're on the show. Money was said the funds were pretty quickly you recall correctly can't guess where you stand right now yeah we're where we stand right now is we are definitely on the homestretch I mean if if if this were a baseball game we would be in the bottom of the ninth well we've we've already provided 95%. Of the available program funds and we have. Probably a couple hundred million or so that is in the process right now it's either reserve they're committed scheduled to go out to homeowners so. We are we are right there are nearing the end. We don't have an exact deet to give in terms of when the program all in but we think we will know that the very soon. But we're probably talking a matter of weeks not months I'm sure it's gonna be this summer that will be taken our final applications and once the money is gone it's gone right. That's right who there's there's nothing in the works that we've heard of for any type of extensions or anything else one once this funding is gone and keep your home California. Won't have any more mortgage payment assistance to provide to homeowners so. He had like you said once it's gone it's gone and and is it is it basically for for low income families or anybody. So it's a good question because a lot of times people think these type of programs are only four low or very low income families and we can certainly help those people vote week. Have our income limits set to help low and moderate income families have to give you an example here in San Diego County. If your household income. Is 1111805. Dollars or less. You can get assistance through this program your household income is above that unfortunately you won't qualify because you would not be considered. Low and moderate income for this county and the income ranges vary by county so if you if we have any listeners out there. That are listening from another county they can always. Check it out on the website we have a link that says income limits and it tells you that limits for every single county across the state and Ellis and it's it's set in stone. The legal limits are set in stone yet you know do we do adjusting each year but because we're into the into the program there's not going to be any other adjustments. And and it hasn't even been a full year since the last time it was just is based on the area median income is is what we look at. And so each year we want to make sure they. Weird adapting with the times and you know we have an accurate reflection of what they area median income is for each count me. So what what kind of economic impact if any does this this program have. On the stayed in and the counties that are involved. We actually the had a professor of economics from University of South Carolina do a steady and he had done this for some other states as well and so that's why we we went with him because he has some experience. Looking at assistance government assistance like this. It helps homeowners. And the studies that he did found it there is a multiplier effect of 2.0 so what that means is for every dollar in assistants. This provided two dollars of economic activity is preserved in the economy so at the time he did the study. We had provided about one point five billion dollars in assistance and that was a three billion dollar economic impact. Today who were up to two billion provided in assistance of that seem multiplayer holds true that would mean keep your home California has had a four billion dollar impact on the state. An incredible. Now now there are. Actually four programs under the umbrella of keep your home California. We talk about them yet that that's correct you there are four programs in just like I mentioned earlier how there was no one size fits all solution from the federal government. When we were designing the programs here for the state of California we knew. Not everybody's gonna have the same situation that's making it difficult for them to pay their mortgage so we came up with four different programs to help. I'll just do a brief you know overview of each the one that's being utilize the most is the unemployment mortgage assistance program. That's the program can help homeowners that are unemployed collecting. Unemployment benefits from ED they can get their mortgage payments covered for up to eighteen months. Or 54000 dollars total whichever comes first. It's pretty sure you forward if you qualify for unemployment in your homeowner you should really. Call our program which are toll free number is 808954. Key port 89545337. So that's the first program and that's the one that's being utilized the most the biggest program in terms of the benefit assistance we can provide is the principal reduction program. Homeowners can get a 200000. Dollars through that program alone and this is for homeowners either poll more than their home is worth so they have negative equity. Or it's for homeowners have unaffordable monthly mortgage payments so if you or. Household. You your payment is more than 30% of your household income. We would consider that an unaffordable. Monthly payment and you can teacher principal balance reduced tickets to a more affordable level. Our last two programs are pretty straightforward. First when is the mortgage reinstatement assistance program. That's the program we have this design catch homeowners if they fell behind due to a financial hardship they can get to 54000 dollars with that program. And then the final program is the transition assistance program this for homeowners it there unfortunately not going to be able to stay in their home. But they still work to avoid foreclosure by doing may be short sale or in deed in lieu of foreclosure they work with their servicer and come to that agreement. And the avoid that foreclosure we can provide up to 5000 dollars to help them. With relocation assistance now's the application process the same for all all four of these programs it is yes that's a good question it is the same process where. You will caller couple free number or you can also apply in person. And we have a link on our website this is to meet with the counselor. And you can click that link and there's a pull down menu of all the California counties in you can see the local offices in your area they have certified keep your home California counselors. They can help you applies whether you do it over the phone or you do it in person. It's going to be the same process you're gonna get asked about a dozen questions right off of that yes or no easy type questions you know was your home in California that type the stuff. And if it looks like you might be a candidate for assistance. We will in transfer into one of our counselors. And that's what we call counseling session where we're getting more detailed information watcher income. You know what your mortgage payment more information about you and your situation in your financial hardship. And at the end of that counseling session which usually takes thirty to 45 minutes somewhere in that neighborhood. At the end of that counseling session if it looks like you might qualify. We will sing you a packet of information we can email it to you or we can Cindy. Via an old school male view it whatever you prefer. But we will send you a packet of information that you need to fill out and in the homeowner would need to return some documents just to prove what they told us over the phones so. Paced it's tax returns things that are very similar to what you have to put together when you've got your mortgage in the first place. Once you've turning your documents. You're into the deal was done from there keep your home California works directly with the servicer. And for those that may not know the terminology the servicer is the company you make your mortgage payments to every month. And we work with them and we set it up where we funds directly so it's not like we're sending checks to homeowners and and they have to turn around and pay their servicer. But working with keep your own California you've given us permission to work with your servicer. And we send that money each month for the employment program it's like we are making your monthly payments is that if you have to do it. And what's the time frame once you get approved before the funds are sent to the provide guests are these are the average time for all four programs is fifty days 50 so if you look at the program wide average it from the tiny pick up the phone until the time you receive funding is fifty days. Now the programs vary a little bit so the unemployment mortgage assistance program is usually the quickest that's like thirty to 35 days. The principal reduction program usually takes the longest that can be sixty or more days. But the overall averages about fifty days of figure a month and a half to two months from the time you pick up the phone. And I think honestly. It slows the process on the most. He's getting the information back from homeowners. So the sooner the homeowners get their documents together and get them turned in the sooner our team can move forward and get the funding and if they have questions all their. Filling out their their application going through the process they can call absolute number and yet again get their questions answer dental free number I gave which is 889545337. Our call center is open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 7 PM and also on Saturdays from 9 AM to 3 PM. You can call that number any time during business hours even if you have already started your application you wanna check on the status. You know maybe you facts in your documents that you tried upload them via one of our secure link. And you just wanna check on the status calling time or maybe just have questions maybe you're not ready to apply that you just wanna get some general information about the program. You can call and speak to one of our representatives they're they're happy to answer the questions that they're there to do they want help homeowners stay in their homes. And and I would think to an when you talk about in its delay could be as as a result of of the homeowner are not giving. The information and if there any questions and regarding. The information paperwork that needs to be sent in and it it it's advisable to give a call before you send it in because that's incidentally the more you you were 100% correct it's always better to check in make sure that you're doing right rather than just guessing and sending in something that you think might be right. And you know that's another reason why it's great if you want to do the in person option when you go to our website. Which is this is for real dot org you go there you click on meet with the council you can work with. A local agency where a lot of times they'll let you come into their office they'll help you put that package together before you send it in so. It's it's a great option for people some people prefer to just do it over the phone and that's fine you know comfort of your own home Faxon scanned documents whatever it takes but if you wanna make sure it's getting downright that's not a bad option that you got there absolutely yeah it's it's really up to the homeowner each step of the keep your home California application process is guided we do we're here to help we wanna make sure. The homeowners that need this assistance that qualify actually get the assistance that is their cost for the service there is no cost and a lot of times people here that they think oh this is too good to be true that some sort of scam or something. It's not anti government program that the cost if you will is this is taxpayer funding so you've already paid for the program if if if you think of it that way. And the goal of the program it's not just to help the homeowners. They give the assistance and stay in their homes of course that's the primary beneficiary but. The goal is to help stabilize communities and we are he talked a little bit about the economic impact right. This assistance is helping everybody even if you don't realize it if you're not having a foreclosure happening in your neighborhood and your local business guess what you didn't just lose some customers. Every time a foreclosure happens surrounding property values go down. So by preventing these foreclosures your property is keeping its value so there's a lot of benefits to this program. Beyond just those homeowners and that's exactly what it was intended to do it was meant to help stabilize communities and help everybody that someone listening this morning might be wondering too. Does this affect a person's credit score. It does not end and we have gotten that question before we do need to check credit just as part of the application process doing the due diligence. But he is what is considered a soft pole so it has no impact on your credit score. When we check in receiving the assistance doesn't have any impact there since the program began again and it start started in February of 2011. So for seven years now. In that those seven years how many homeowners as has the program helped in California and here in San Diego County yet so I'm actually really proud of our numbers we are approaching 82000 households that we helped across the state and that's unique counseled some of those households who actually helped more than once because they've had a subsequent hardship. In San Diego County alone it's about 6500. Households. The total amount of assistance that we've provided across the state has already eclipsed the two billion dollar mark. And in San Diego County alone it's about a 160 million that we provided to homeowners in San Diego. Now since there's a real good chance this program is gonna come to an end real soon men but about the application process is if someone. Is there is are delighted to fill out an application with this in mind so because the funds are a fixed amount and it's essential the you know we got we've got to use it up but we don't quite know that day we know we'll have a date very soon. That we will put on her website as soon as we know what that data is we're gonna post on the website and everybody know what the deadline is. But let's say that you did your application in a day before that deadline and you completed. You haven't turned in all your documents yet. Don't worry as long as you get your application in we have you in the system it's not like all of a sudden we're gonna say oh well you got your docs in two weeks later you don't get assistance. That's not the case as soon as you finish that counseling session funds are reserved for you if you look like year candy for assistance now we finish that counseling session. And it's obviously you're ineligible there's not going to be any funds or is there for you it's it's going to be I'm sorry you don't qualify. But for homeowners who do qualify. They're not going to be in a position where they start the process and in mid process we say oh sorry we're out of funds we can't help. Now EU said it once they finish the counseling session. And it looks like. They're going to be approved. Does that mean the money put put aside today and even though they won they're not 100% approved that's right so that means the money set aside because he even if it takes and you know maybe 23 weeks to get all their documents in. That money will still be their form even if it's 23 weeks after the deadline. Prayer for whenever with the program ends when we get to that point. However. I do you wanna make sure that people understand the you have a set amount of time Tiki your documents and usually the maximum amount of time we can provide us a month. And if homeowners due to the in and they don't turn their documents and then unfortunately they're not gonna qualify and if it's after the deadline there won't be chance for them to re apply. So it's really important for homeowners whether or not it's around the deadline when you view your counseling sessions. Nature that you still turning your documents the number one reason that we see people fall out of the process and not qualify for keep your home California. Is they don't come back to us and return their documents and it's really too bad because we know that there's people that are good candidates that can use the assistance. And they just stopped responding Indian didn't give the documents back to us. There's nothing we can do if we don't get that application actually completed with all the documents so earlier on in the program if if somebody. Didn't get there their paperwork in within the time limit they could re apply but now because we're getting close to the end it's a different story is long and mean yet let's say that somebody doesn't get their documents in today. And they wanna come back in a few weeks they'll probably be okay. But we are and fast approaching a deadline where that won't be the case once we get past. The program Indy and like I said it will be posted on our website probably in a matter of the next few weeks. We wanna help as many homeowners as possible with the funding that we have while we have it. Which is why we haven't set a date just yet because we're pushing it till the very end as far as we can do it we won again. Every amount of this assistance out because it doesn't do us any good if we if we have any funding left. At the end of the program we just had to give it back to the federal government we don't want to do that we wanna give it to the homeowners and keep that funding. Here in California where can positively impact the economy. Now does this program. Assist with split up property tax and and home insurance so the way that the programs are set up if you were property taxes and insurance or impounded which your monthly payments of for example the unemployment mortgage assistance program and mentioned how we can make the monthly payments and if the property taxes and insurance or impoundment it will cover that as well we make the regular monthly payment. Same thing with the mortgage reinstatement assistance program if you fell behind. And part of that was property taxes and insurance because as part of your payments. It'll cover that but we don't have a program specifically set out to help people with their property taxes or insurance and if you pay that separate from your monthly payment. We're not going to be able to make your regular monthly payment Indians and you check for. Property taxes or insurance so it's it's all based on the first mortgage payment whatever the regular monthly payments. OK so so advice for somebody listening this morning homeowner. Listening this morning. Having some problems making their mortgage. Payments what advice do you have that I would say call I mean that's the number one team or go to the website this is for real dot org and you can explore we post a ton of information on there you can see. The results and what we've done we've put all kinds of reports and statistics we have success stories from homeowners that we felt. We have a twelve question yes or no quiz that you can just click yes or no one will tell you. Where the night he looked like he Kennedys so of you don't want to actually pick up that phone unit you can do some research on your own. But it absolutely mind number one thing would be called caller can and see if they can help you out. And don't only mean a lot of times people think well maybe I can just make it another month or so. In this case another month or so might be the difference between you qualify for the program and not having funding available. But you've participating in this program like we talked about earlier as a taxpayer it's there to help you it's there to be a safety net if you needed. There's no shame in in using the program and it's helping everybody not just use so my number one thing would be give us a call and see if we can help PO. Do you know how many M. Counselors there are offices were people can go to here's an Eagle County in San Diego County. I believe. I think there's maybe two maybe three different offices if they wanna go in person. But some of them are in the surrounding areas they mean may not be I know there's at least one in CD eight guidance and India right in San Diego but there's something. Might not be located in San Diego that serve San Diego County OK so so once again media. Income limits and requirements for eligibility into the program so that income limit for San Diego County. These 1111805. Dollars now you're household income needs to be below that number. Some of the eligibility requirements need to be a homeowner home he's being California. Your servicer needs to be participating in the program we have about 250 servicers signed up covers almost something like 95% in the mortgages in California so. Most likely you're servicers participating. But you need to have the financial hardship this is maybe the most important thing for people understand. If you call us up and you say. I just wanna make my mortgage payment anymore I want you guys to pay it or. You know what I have this boat payment in this RV payment in this new car that I bought and I can't make my mortgage with all this other stuff those enough financial hardships those are choices. And you're not gonna qualify for keep your own California if you were in that situation but for homeowners had things like. And divorce and death in the family unexpected medical bills unemployment are maybe still have your job a year hours got you've lost income. There's all sorts of things that qualify as a financial hardship. We just want to make sure people understand. You do need to have. That ready we need you need to be able to tell us your story and why you need this assistance a valid hardship and valid hardship and and that questionnaire that you happen your website that'll help. Absolutely yeah and you were eating gulf Andy further oh yes yes that'll give you an idea of which programs may be options for you. And we have the detailed program term sheets we have examples of hardships posted on theirs yet others. It if you spend some time on our website you will become an expert on keeper from California we post as much on there as we can now what if somebody somebody's servicer. Is not on your list can pay gap among analysts they can try but honestly at this point of the program they're probably wouldn't be enough time. Like I said the odds of that though are very low we do every now and then still have a homeowner come to us and it's usually like a very small servicer like maybe they have a portfolio you know just a few lawns in the state California. And we can't make a servicers China and the unit it's always a strange thing try to explain to people that we can't force them to take our money. So they have to voluntarily participate. I'm so at this stage of the program if you're servicers not participating unfortunately most likely it's not gonna work out but you can always call your servicer and say. I'm having this issue I may be candy for this program kaine you'd try to sign up for. I just don't know we'll have time for that now and it's now maybe they can recommend. Yeah another service they're there there's there's always there's always other options to that's one of the great things about the offices. In person from that I mentioned in person sessions. They're aware of other programs to that are out there and then there's not another program like keep your home California and on biased by. I think there's there's not another program like that. But there are other programs where. You know sometimes there's local assistance they can help heal the pain you know where you're located or they can even help you put together. A package for modification or refinance with your service or so there are other things you can look into. Beyond our program wants him phone number if somebody wants to efforts won't get them the process started and has any questions yet so the number is 808954. Key. Or 89545337. The call centers open Monday through Friday 7 AM to 7 PM. Saturdays 9 AM to 3 PM. We have counselors. They are fluent in English and Spanish we have several reps standing by they can speak both languages. But if if we don't have somebody available or let's say you speak another language natively for more comfortable doing your council session in another language. We will get a translation service on the line free of charge no charge and homeowner. So we can do counseling sessions in virtually any language and if you want to get more information before making a phone call you can always go to this is for real dot org. And you can find out all kinds of information statistics all the stuff that we mentioned earlier. Right there on the website and and you have a website for Spanish speaking out alternatives to right that's right yes this thank you for mentioning that the website is also available in Spanish if I you know I can think dot org great testy at. Great seeing you again thanks for coming on the show again and and but things don't keep your home California great program will thank you again for having me and I hope we get some folks to call in because we want to make sure like I said that we help as many people as possible before the program and split. Really appreciate your efforts to help us promote it and hopefully we'll get to Chad again Sunday. All right sounds good man thanks. That concludes another addition of living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veteran San Diego do not necessarily. Reflect the opinions and views of the staff and management of the N accounts San Diego radio stations. Episodes of living than in San Diego are available on the station's website. Join me next week when my guests will be for the sacrifice fly. Until that I'm Gary late have a great week.