November 16th, 2011 8:37 PM by Lehel S.
A state-run program that helps homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages now has broader eligibility guidelines, opening up help to borrowers who did "cash-out" refinances and own multiple properties, said California Housing Finance Agency officials on Monday.
The mortgage-aid effort, called Keep Your Home California, so far has helped close to 8,000 low- and moderate-income households that are behind on loan payments or close to default, according to agency leaders.
"This expanded eligibility will allow more families to qualify and receive greater assistance," said California Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Claudia Cappio, in a statement. "We are continuously evaluating our experience so far and making adjustments like these based on the initial results of the Keep Your Home California program."
Keep Your Home California has four parts that include: mortgage help for the unemployed, mortgage aid for homeowners with documented financial hardship, relocation help for those in the midst of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, and reduction of principal. The programs, paid for by the U.S. Treasury Department's Hardest Hit Fund, is costing taxpayers $2 billion.
Monday's announced changes include:
--Allowing homeowners who completed "cash-out" mortgage refinancing to take part in the four programs. Such borrowers were excluded before.
--Allowing borrowers who own more than one property to apply. Program officials said this will be particularly helpful to those who co-signed on properties for family members.
--Offering mortgage aid to unemployed borrowers for nine months, instead of six. Such homeowners can get up to $3,000 a month. To qualify, you must receive unemployment benefits.
--Reinstating up to $20,000 in past-due mortgage payments instead of the previous $15,000 cap.
To qualify, your mortgage servicer must take part in Keep Your Home California. Click here for the list of servicers.
Info: Call 888-954-KEEP(5337) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Visit:www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org orwww.ConservaTuCasaCalifornia.org.