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Californians have qualified so far.

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Karen-K

Volunteer who helps others achieve the American Dream turns to state program to keep her own home.

Karen K. has a unique story.

She’s been a volunteer for more than 10 years with Habitat for Humanity, and helped build homes while she worked full-time at a marketing research company.

“I view homeownership as important,” Karen says. “I want to give back and help others who want to own their own home.”

Karen never thought she would be the one reaching out for help. After working in the greater Los Angeles area for more than 20 years, her position was eliminated.

She heard about the Keep Your Home California program through a financial strategies class offered through her career counseling service. She visited the Keep Your Home California website, but didn’t think she would qualify for the free mortgage-assistance program.

A few months passed, and her career coach encouraged her to look into the program one more time and asked, “Did you talk to a live person?”

Karen said, “No.” So, the single homeowner called the toll-free Keep Your Home California phone number and, to her surprise, she qualified for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program.

Thanks to the program, Karen is still living in the condo she bought 12 years ago.

“Instead of eating away at my savings, the program helped me financially,” Karen says. “It was a blessing.”

She wants to encourage others to apply for the state-managed program.

“It gives people a peace of mind and its one less thing you have to worry about so you can focus on your job search,” she says.

Although Karen is still searching for a full-time position, she’s hoping to stay in the LA area.

“It was really easy to apply. Homeowners should definitely give it a shot and talk to a person to take you through the process,” says Karen, who continues to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

“I’m a huge volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and if a program can help me save my home, I want to do the same for someone else.”

michelle_v

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.”

 

Testimonials

Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program helps Al save his home – and his dream

Soon after Al R. bought his dream house, he lost his great-paying job.

Like many homeowners in recent years, the American Dream had become a real-life nightmare – and an everyday struggle.

Al and his family made a few mortgage payments and then got behind. Then, he came across a mailer about Keep Your Home California, the free mortgage-assistance program that has helped more than 30,000 homeowners since February 2011.

“We thought it was too good to be true,” says Al, who applied twice for the program. “There was some serious nail-biting whether we were going to keep our home. One of our biggest fears was that the program would end before we were approved.”

The program will not end anytime soon. Keep Your Home California received almost $2 billion from the federal government, so there are quite a few dollars still available for financially strapped homeowners.

Al was approved for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, which offers as much as $3,000 per month for up to 12 months. Homeowners who meet the program income limits and are also collecting jobless benefits from the Employment Development Department, are eligible for the program.

“It really works; it’s what we needed,” says Al, who lives in the Sacramento region. “We’re so grateful.”

Now, he talks about the program when he comes across homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments.

“We can’t be more appreciative or more supportive of the program,” says Al, whose daughter also benefited from the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program in recent months.

Now, Al is back to work and making his mortgage payments on his own.

“The bottom line is that we got it, and it saved our home,” he says. “And we love our house, it’s our dream house.”

laurie_c

Longtime mortgage professional Laurie C. entered the fast-paced business because she “likes helping people.”

Now, Laurie – who has enjoyed a 20-year career in the home lending industry but has endured three recessions along the way – is getting a helping hand from Keep Your Home California.

Like many homeowners in California, Laurie has become a casualty of the dismal economy and the hard-hit housing market. She has been “in and out of work” for the past five years, as the housing market struggles through one of its worst downturns.

She was most recently laid off July 1, and soon after applied for Keep Your Home California’s Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program. The state-run program helps out-of-work homeowners with their payments, up to a maximum of $3,000 per month for six months.

“I tried to do a modification … but they gave me the runaround for a year,” Laurie says. The Keep Your Home Program was different. “They had me qualified and eligible in 10 days.”

The mortgage servicer, which must participate in the program, approved the payment plan for Laurie a week later.

Keep Your Home California – established with $2 billion in federal funds through the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund® – started making her monthly $750 mortgage payment in September, and will continue through February, Laurie says.

“I don’t know what I’d be doing” without the mortgage assistance, says Laurie, who lives in a condominium in Roseville, about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento. “I totally believe in this program.”

Laurie often educates other financially strapped homeowners about the Keep Your Home California and how the program has helped her save her home.

“I’m out there selling it,” Laurie says. “I’m a true believer that things happen for a reason.”

 

 

Brayton W

Unemployment program helped husband and wife after they were both laid off with newborn.

It’s a story that is heartbreaking for any family.

Brayton W. and his wife decided to buy their dream home in Riverside during 2009. Two years later, they welcomed a new little girl into the world.

After working at a hotel for more than four years, the company decided to downsize and, as a result, Brayton was laid off.

The family turned to their savings to pay the bills and mortgage. Brayton worried about what would happen after the money was gone from the savings account.

“That’s the last thing you want to do is move from house-to-house when you have a newborn,” Brayton says.
A couple months later, Brayton’s wife, a school nurse for a local school district, was also laid off.

Fortunately, Brayton found out about the Keep Your Home California program through an unemployment workshop.

“I spoke to a counselor and went through the process of applying for the unemployment assistance program,” Brayton says. “It was a blessing for the next nine months. I wouldn’t have to worry about my house payment while I looked for a job.”

The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program offers as much as $3,000 per month for up to 12 months for out-of-work homeowners. Qualifying homeowners must have received unemployment benefits from the state Employment Development Department within the past thirty days, at the time of their Keep Your Home California application.

He says it was the best feeling to know that his family could stay in their dream house.

“We didn’t really want to give up the house. It meant the world to my wife and me,” Brayton says. “To know there was a program to help you.”

He wants others to know the process is straightforward and the program can help tremendously.

Our programs are designed to help you keep your home if you've suffered a financial hardship.

Take a minute to answer a few questions to find out which program can help you best.

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Is your home in California?

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Do you own and occupy your home as your primary residence?

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Is the amount you owe on your first mortgage loan equal or less than $729,750?

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Is your County household income equal to or less than ?

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Have you experienced a financial hardship (such as a loss of income, significant medical expenses, divorce, severe negative equity, etc.) that is making it difficult for you to keep your home?

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Are you in an active bankruptcy?

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Great, you may be eligible for all or some of our programs!

Just answer a few more questions to find out which of our programs is best for you.

Which programs are best for you?

Have you received unemployment benefits from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) within the past 30 days?

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Are you two or more payments past due on your first mortgage loan?

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Do you owe more on your first mortgage than your home's current value?

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Are you currently participating in a trial payment plan for a modification with your mortgage servicer?

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Are you working with your mortgage loan servicer on a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or a Short Sale?

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Based on your responses you do not qualify for a Keep Your Home California program, but we still want to help! Find out about the other options that are available to you by clicking the link below.

Don’t worry, other programs are available

Don't worry, other programs are available.

Although you do not qualify for a Keep Your Home California program, your mortgage Servicer or housing counselor from a HUD-approved agency may have other options that are available to you. These options include:

1) Federal Mortgage Relief

  • Load Modification
  • Refinance
  • Short sale assistance
  • Deed in lieu help

More Information »

2) Your Mortgage Servicer

  • Forbearance
  • Repayment plan
  • Short sale
  • Cash for keys

Contact your service provider for more information

Need more help?

Great!

You may be eligible for the following Keep Your Home California Programs:

Call us at (888) 954-5337

  • Enter your email to receive more information on the programs you qualify for.