The California Housing Finance Agency is sponsoring a federally funded program designed to keep unemployed homeowners from facing the threat of foreclosure, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. The CHFA has also enlisted the help of four of the largest mortgage lenders in the nation, Bank of America, Chase, GMAC and Wells Fargo, to keep the program afloat, and Citi is expected to join in the near future.
The program, called Keep Your Home California, will provide up to $18,000 in mortgage payments over six months for unemployed consumers in the state, the report said. However, there are a number of strict qualifications homeowners must meet before qualifying. For example, the offer is only open to those with low or moderate income, which varies depending on the county they live in. In addition, applicants cannot own more than one property, or have either a second mortgage or equity loan on their home.
Any assistance consumers receive counts as a lien against the property, the report said. However, consumers who are able to successfully stay in their home and keep up with their mortgage payments once the program ends will have it lifted after three years.
Many consumers have been pushed from their homes in recent months due to the foreclosure crisis, which may have partly occurred as a result of lenders mishandling financial documents.