Real Estate

Tuesday, Jan 22 2013 12:58 PM

Keep Your Home California doubles lender participation

BY BONHIA LEE The Fresno Bee

More Valley homeowners should be able to qualify for mortgage help now that the number of lenders participating in a state-run mortgage assistance program has doubled.

Keep Your Home California, a $2 billion federally funded program that helps homeowners save their homes from foreclosure, now has 101 lenders participating.

Last year around this time, 55 lenders were on board offering homeowners help through at least one of the four programs which include unemployment assistance, principal mortgage reductions, payments to catch up on the mortgage or money to move if a home cannot be saved from foreclosure.

When the program first started in February 2011, only 10 mortgage lenders signed on.

"Mortgage servicers are definitely a key to the success of the program," said Claudia Cappio, executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency, which overseas the program. "We're very pleased that so many servicers have joined the program and are willing to take steps to help homeowners, their communities and the state recover from the downturn in the economy."

Some of this year's new lenders include:

* Union Bank

* Springleaf Financial

* Exchange Bank

* UMe Federal Credit Union

* Capital One

* LenderLive Network

* 1st Valley Credit Union

Two of the nation's largest banks -- Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase -- are now offering principal mortgage reductions in the program. They were among the early participants, but did not offer principal reductions until now.

Other new principal reduction participants include:

* UMe Federal Credit Union

* Bourns Employee Credit Union

* Fay Financial

* Seterus

* Lender Live Network

For more information about Keep Your Home California, visit their website, http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/, or call (888) 954-5337.

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