$700 Million OK’d for California Homeowners!
That’s a headline that would reach and and grab you over your oatmeal, wouldn’t it? It certainly caught my attention yesterday. Here’s a new program (4 actually) designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and the Department of Treasury has just approved $700 Million of those old leftover TARP funds just for us in California. The article went on to say it’s to help:
- unemployed homeowners in danger of defaulting on their loans (lenders must match federal funds)
- borrowers who are a little behind on their mortgage but could catch up with a little help (lenders must match)
- reduction in principle for borrowers needing it to avoid foreclosure (lenders must match)
- transition assistance for families who can’t afford to keep their home.
I guess if I had any faith in any program the government was trying to foist on us right now this sounds like it has possibilities. I mean, who knew there was still a spare $700 million in TARP funds laying around for just one state over a year into the program. That program, along with all the other great unveilings like HAFA, HARP, HAMP, etc, have been such resounding successes you’d have thought the money would already have been used up to stimulate the economy. At least the Administration will tell you that’s why our jobs & housing market are roaring along so robustly right now.
Of course I don’t have much faith in anything the government is doing right now and wish they’s simply get the hell out of the housing business. This is no different. CalHFA’s Keep You Home Program plans to use the money to develop those four programs, oh, out around November 1. When? People are hurting TODAY. The money is available TODAY. The programs may be available in 4 months? Well, yeah. There’s that government sense of urgency thing.
And that’s assuming they can get the lenders to match up to $700 million in order for homeowners to qualify. You think lenders in California are gonna just pony up another $700 million? Wasn’t TARP supposed to go to lenders to begin with?
Oh well, don’t hold your breath. Even the CalHFA spokeshole cautioned people not to get their hopes up. “We recommend that if homeowners are currently having financial difficulties, they do not wait for these programs.” They should contact lenders and HUD counselors to see if they can make use of one of the other worthless programs being touted by the administration or get screwed over by a loan mod or short sale scam artist. He also had no additional advice for those that have already been hosed by lenders and counselors and need assistance before the programs might start. He encouraged people to visit their website http://keepyourhomecalifornia.com/. Here you can find out about how close you came to actually getting assistance including a great quote from our Governor about the new future program “The new funding announced today will play a vital role in aiding the state’s neediest homeowners. Blah, blah blah blah blah KawLeeForKneeya.”
Read beyond the headlines folks. There’s no free lunch, the check is in the mail and we’re from the government and we’re here to help you – provided you can hang on until November.