California’s housing market may get some much needed relief with last week’s announcement of the national mortgage settlement reached with the country’s five largest loan servicers.  In the deal, 49 states, including California, agreed to a $25 billion settlement on abusive foreclosure practices.  California will receive a large share of that amount to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages or assist those facing foreclosure.  Those who have already lost their homes could also benefit.  Relief will go to areas hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis within the first year of the settlement.  Read more details on this settlement and find links to the California Attorney General and National Mortgage Settlement websites.
Early this month, President Obama proposed a plan to help struggling homeowners and eligible, underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments to take advantage of historically low interest rates and refinance or modify their loans into safer, more affordable mortgages.  Additionally, homeowners whose homes are not backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be eligible to refinance their mortgages.  Currently, only Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-owned loans are eligible for refinance.  The president’s proposal must first pass Congress.
On the subject of programs that provide aid to distressed homeowners, Keep Your Home California, the $2 billion federally-funded effort to help struggling California homeowners, is now connecting with homeowners whether they call, click, text or tweet.  Keep Your Home California also recently redesigned its English ( and Spanish ( ) web sites and expanded social media efforts, using Facebook and a regularly updated blog.  The redesigned web site, text service and social media efforts greatly expand the reach of Keep Your Home California to homeowners.
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