As a full-time student, physical therapist assistant and homeowner, Michelle was nearly overwhelmed.
Between rising tuition and a mortgage payment that had just increased, she was worried that a default was just around the corner. Decreasing property values left her in a position where she was unable to qualify for existing refinance programs.
Being proactive by nature, Michelle worked with a local nonprofit counselor to explore other potential options and learned about a principal reduction program being offered through Keep Your Home California. “I didn’t want to wait,” Michelle says. “I’d never been late on my mortgage payment because I knew it would just add more stress to my life. I knew I wanted to keep my home – walking away just wasn’t an option for me.”
After her over-the-phone counseling session with Keep Your Home California, Michelle was quickly qualified for a principal reduction of $50,000. Paying down her principal meant restructuring Michelle’s mortgage payment to a level she could easily afford. “I never had credit card debt,” says Michelle. “But I was living paycheck to paycheck. With both my school costs and mortgage payments increasing, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to continue to make ends meet. Now I not only have a mortgage payment I can afford, I also have enough money to take some extra classes and get my degree sooner.”
Adding a principal reduction component to the Keep Your Home California suite of programs was a necessity according to California Housing Finance Agency executive director, Claudia Cappio. “Property values have decreased significantly in California, leaving many borrowers with so much negative equity they are not able to take advantage of the numerous refinance programs that are already available. The Principal Reduction Program was specifically created to help homeowners who are serious about living in their homes and creating longer term stability for their families by giving them an opportunity to qualify for a more sustainable modification. It certainly isn’t a panacea, but for a lot of families who don’t have any other options available to them, we believe this is a good and fair solution.”
It was certainly the answer Michelle Vera was looking for. “For me, this is a permanent solution to my mortgage problems.”