ORANGE COUNTY FAMILIES GATHER TO SAVE THEIR HOMES
(LADERA RANCH, Calif.) More than 300 homeowners gathered at Ladera Ranch Middle School to receive free guidance in saving their home from foreclosure, as part of a Home Preservation Workshop, hosted by Congressman Ken Calvert, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLB) and the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative.
By partnering with the Housing Opportunities Collaborative of the Inland Empire, Village Presbyterian Church and Ladera Ranch community leaders like Springboard president and CEO Todd Emerson, nearly150 distressed families received face-to-face personal assistance from US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agencies.
“This is an opportunity for homeowners to communicate one-on-one with the people and agencies that can make a difference,” said Emerson. “With both credit and legal counseling, as well as the major banking institutions all under one roof, I believe we are providing families in danger of losing their homes the best possibility to avoid foreclosure and modify their home loans.”
In fact, for homeowners in need of counseling, a variety of HUD approved counseling agencies such as Springboard, Consumer Credit Counseling Service-Orange County, Fair Housing Council-Orange County and Neighborhood Housing Service-Orange County were on hand to answer questions and provide insight into their current situation.
The event, which attracted local residents from Ladera Ranch and nearby communities, including Mission Viejo, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and as far away as Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, also provided one-on-one counseling by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and the Public Law Center.
One of the event’s highlights included a presentation on the Keep Your Home California (KYHC) programs, which are focused on assisting eligible families to stay in their homes, when possible, and leveraging additional contributions from participating mortgage servicers.
“One particularly appealing program under KYHC is the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMA),” continued Emerson. “This is a unique program that provides direct mortgage financial support for qualified, unemployed homeowners for up to six months.”
For more information on KYHC please call (888) 954-KEEP (5337) or visit www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org.
One of the things stressed during the workshop, was communication as an essential requirement for what to do when faced with foreclosure. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (also known as Freddie Mac) encourages homeowners to do the following:
DON’T fall victim to a scheme. Unfortunately, some people want to profit by your misfortune by offering to contact and conduct all work-outs and negotiations with your lender on your behalf – for a fee.
DO call your lender immediately. If you have already missed a mortgage payment or predict you will in the near future, call your lender right away. Your lender is your biggest ally and the sooner you reach out for assistance, the more help they can provide.
DO answer the phone and read your mail. Avoiding your lender won’t make the problem go away. In fact, it will only make the problem worse. Your lender may be able to help you, so be sure to answer the phone and read any mail they may have sent you.
DO realistically assess your situation. Are your financial problems temporary? If so, call your lender and let them know the situation. Lenders may be able to offer a forbearance or repayment plan.
DO call a housing counselor for assistance. Housing counselors can help you contact and work with your lender to get help with your mortgage and provide advice to avoid foreclosure – free of charge. For a list of approved counselors call the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) at (800) 569-4287 or visit Hud.gov.
DON’T move out of your home. In order to qualify for assistance, homeowners are often required to be living in their home.
DO protect your wealth. Recognize that you may have significant equity in your property that must be preserved.
DO be aware of certain financial responsibilities. Even if your lender sells your property, you may still be responsible for the difference in the sale price and what you owe, as well as certain taxes when a lender forecloses on your property.
DON’T ignore the problem. It may be possible to keep your home, but if you wait to take action, fewer options will be available. You have certain rights and can take certain actions to help you keep your home; however, you only have a limited amount of time to assert those rights or take those actions.
DO talk to a lawyer or legal aid organization. Your rights vary from state to state. Most states and large cities have legal aid organizations; to find one near you, go to the Legal Services Corporation, a government-sponsored organization that provides high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
“When you get right down to it, the key is to communicate with your lender to discover what can be done in your situation. Lack of communication will only make things difficult for you to resolve and remove your options to save your home,” said Emerson.
Financial institutions participating in the free Home Preservation Workshop included: the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative, US Bank, GMAC, American Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank, HSBC Bank, PNC Bank, Bank of America and Fannie Mae.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members – its shareholders and customers – are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, thrift and loans, and insurance companies headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
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