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CalHFA expands eligibility for $2 billion foreclosure prevention program

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The California Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday it has expanded the eligibility requirements for several Keep Your Home California programs, allowing more distressed homeowners access to $2 billion in funds allotted for foreclosure prevention initiatives. With the implementation of the changes, federal mortgage assistance of up to $3,000 per month is available to unemployed homeowners who are in danger of losing their properties. In addition, a program that provides funds for mortgage payments tied to financial hardship will offer up to $15,000 per household to reinstate mortgages in danger of foreclosure. Funds also will be provided for relocation expenses when homeowners determine that they cannot stay in their homes. The Treasury Department approved the changes for the federally supported program. The initiatives impacted by the changes include the unemployment mortgage assistance program, the mortgage reinstatement assistance program and the transition assistance program. The programs now include mortgages originated after Jan. 1, 2009. “California homeowners have welcomed the assistance provided by Keep Your Home California,” said Steven Spears, executive director of CalHFA. “In the two short months since the launch of these programs, we have collected information that has helped us identify areas of improvement to make the programs more effective, particularly given the continued high level of unemployment in California.“ Servicers participating in all of the programs include GMAC, Guild Mortgage, the California Housing Finance Agency and the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Other servicers are enrolled in some of the programs, but not all of them. Earlier this week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development implemented its new program providing mortgage assistance to the unemployed in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Idaho and Delaware. Applications were being accepted Monday. Through the Dodd-Frank Act, HUD was cleared to establish the $1 billion Emergency Homeowner Loan Program. Through it, unemployed homeowners can receive a $50,000 interest-free loan to assist with their mortgage payments for up to 24 months. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

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