SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Keep Your Home California today unveiled an online Servicer Scorecard, making it easy for financially strapped homeowners to determine how mortgage servicers are working with the state-run program.
Each month, Keep Your Home California – a free mortgage-assistance program for hard-hit homeowners – will assess the 140-plus servicers enrolled in the program, evaluating them on such things as the percentage of applications approved and declined, how many days it takes to respond to applications, and the total fundings issued per program during that particular month.
“We want to help homeowners determine how effective and responsive their mortgage servicer has been to the Keep Your Home California program,” said Claudia Cappio, Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), the state agency that oversees Keep Your Home California. “The Servicer Scorecard clearly details how closely their mortgage servicer is working with the program to prevent foreclosures in the state.”
The scorecard, available at http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/participating-servicers/, also demonstrates how servicers are doing in terms of raising awareness about Keep Your Home California to their borrowers. Servicer-to-homeowner communication has proven to be one of the most effective methods for getting the word out about the program.
Ratings are available for institutions big and small, from big banks such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase, to credit unions like Patelco, San Diego County and SAFE Federal Credit Union. The top 15 servicers with the most fundings – including Bank of America, Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo – have more detailed information in easy-to-view graphics.
Wells Fargo and Bank of America together accounted for almost 44 percent of the fundings issued through the program in August. Wells Fargo customers accounted for 1,870 transactions in August, the most in the program from any single servicer, followed by Bank of America at 1,519. However, Bank of America customers were issued $7.82 million in funding, about $3 million more than second-place Wells Fargo. The difference is due to the fact that in August, Bank of America had many more customers qualify for the Principal Reduction Program, which has the largest benefit amount of the four Keep Your Home California programs.
Keep Your Home California, a $2 billion federally funded program, was established to help homeowners with their mortgage payments. Homeowners must have a financial hardship – such as a job loss, cut in pay, divorce or extraordinary medical bills – meet county-by-county income requirements and their mortgage servicer must participate in Keep Your Home California.
More than 140 mortgage servicers participate in at least one of the four programs available through Keep Your Home California, covering about 95% of the mortgages in the state. Keep Your Home California has helped 30,000 households since the program started in February 2011.
Homeowners can answer questions online to determine if they are a good candidate for the program at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org. The website can also help homeowners determine the best program for them:
- Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program: Homeowners can receive as much as $3,000 per month in mortgage assistance for up to 12 months. Homeowners must be collecting unemployment benefits from the Employment Development Department.
- Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program: Homeowners can receive as much as $25,000 in assistance to help them “catch up” on their past-due mortgage payments. Homeowners must be able to make their mortgage payments going forward.
- Principal Reduction Program: Homeowners can get as much as $100,000 in principal reduction, which in turn lowers their monthly payments. Homeowners must owe more than their home is worth to qualify.
- Transition Assistance Program: Financially strapped homeowners can collect as much as $5,000 to cover relocation costs as part of a servicer-approved short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The money helps homeowners move and set up a new home.
Homeowners seeking more information about the program should call 888-954-KEEP (5337) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The counseling center can answer questions in virtually any language and there is never a fee for the services. A Spanish-language version of the website is available at www.ConservaTuCasaCalifornia.org.