Local News

Feb 23, 2011 9:29 PM by Ariel Wesler

New state program gives money to homeowners facing foreclosure

In tonight's "Safe Family" report, families facing foreclosure are getting the help they need to stay in their homes thanks to a new statewide program.

It's called "Keep Your Home California". It was made possible by $2 billion in federal funding. The program is aimed at helping low and moderate income homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages.

"I had the American Dream and now they're trying to take it away," said Martin Lagomarsino, who's facing foreclosure.

Sadly, it's become a familiar phrase. . .last year, banks foreclosed on more than 2,000 properties on the Central Coast. Many people, like Lagomarsino, lost their jobs and could no longer make their payments.

"They were gonna foreclose on my house. I had the option to do a short sale, and that was the last thing I wanted to do was lose my house," Lagomarsino said.

Now, "Keep Your Home California" is giving homeowners the help they need. People's Self-Help Housing is one of the organizations trained to assist them.

"Through a 30-minute phone interview, we would complete an application with them and we are submitting it to the "Keep Your Home" program while we are interviewing them," said Gail Riley, a housing specialist with Peoples' Self-Help Housing.

The program offers mortgage assistance up to $3,000 a month for the unemployed risking default and up to $15,000 for homeowners who are already behind on payments and facing foreclosure.

"To get my loan current, is just a little bit under the maximum amount that I could get from this program," Lagomarsino said.

"Maybe they're in a place where they can make their payments, but they can't make up the back amount," Riley said.

To qualify, you must have a family gross income of no more than $87,000 in San Luis Obispo County and $85,700 in Santa Barbara County. You must also own and live in the home as a primary residence and you cannot have taken equity out of your home.

For those who are eligible though, the program could give them the money they need to change their lives.

"There was just no way. I'm going to end up losing my house or have to have to borrow money from somebody, so this has given me a second chance," Lagomarsino said.

For more information on the program and to see if you qualify, click one of the links below.

Keep Your Home California

Peoples' Self-Help Housing

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