Thursday, February 26, 2015

Keep Your Home California helps seniors with reverse mortgages

 Keep Your Home California has created a new pilot program to help low- and moderate-income senior homeowners with reverse mortgages avoid foreclosure.

Under the Reverse Mortgage Assistance Pilot Program, homeowners age 62 and older who have a Federal Housing Administration Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, also known as a HECM, could qualify for as much as $25,000 in assistance.

The money could be used to pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance and help with future expenses to make sure homeowners get back on their feet.

“There are many senior homeowners who need a helping hand in order to get back on track with their reverse mortgage-related expenses,” said Tia Boatman Patterson, executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency which oversees Keep Your Home California. “We don’t want these seniors, many of whom live on a fixed income, to lose their homes because of some missed payments caused by a financial hardship beyond their control.”

The Central Valley, the Chico and Redding region, and the High Desert area have high concentrations of homeowners with reverse mortgages, the agency said. The group does not know how many people are affected, but estimate that its $25 million program can help 1,400 homeowners.

To qualify, homeowners must live in the house, must meet county income limits and must have endured a financial hardship such as a reduction of income, a divorce, a death in the family or extraordinary medical bills.

Six mortgage companies currently participate in the program. Homeowners whose mortgages are held by the following companies can apply: Champion, Financial Freedom, James B. Nutter, Residential Mortgage Solutions, SunWest and Wells Fargo.

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