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curtis_h

Sometimes being a pack rat pays off. Just ask Curtis H.

Curtis received some information about Keep Your Home California almost a year ago.

‘I didn’t even read it at the time,” says Curtis, who tucked away the information though he doesn’t really know why. “I guess I’m kind of a pack rat.”

Several months – and a divorce – later, the information proved valuable. It’s been the difference between losing and keeping his home in Lincoln, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento.

“I knew it was too much money alone,” says Curtis, who lost his former wife’s income and was forced to make the mortgage payment alone. “I took over all of the bills, and I wasn’t able to afford all my payments.

“I had absolutely no cash,” says Curtis, a construction industry worker. “If I had the car break down, it would have to be on the VISA (card).”

Curtis applied for the principal reduction program in June, hoping to cut his monthly mortgage payment and the money owed on his new home.

“It was easy, it really blew me away,” says Curtis, who adds the biggest challenge was writing the hardship letter, detailing his financial challenges. But after a quick search online, he found a few hardship letters that served as his guide. “The paperwork was easy.”

Curtis says the determination is well worth the effort. Keep Your Home California approved his principal reduction application this summer, saving him about $132 per month.

“It doesn’t sound like a substantial amount, but it was enough money,” Curtis says. “I won a raffle, a prize.”

The state-run program also dropped his principal from $230,000 to $209,000.

“Technically, I got a lot more than $21,000” in principal reduction, says Curtis, who crunched the numbers and figures his overall savings during the lifetime of his mortgage was much higher. “It’s a huge difference. It was a miracle.”

Testimonials

Keep Your Home California delivers for former postal service employee, eliminating $100,000 from her mortgage

Homeowner Deidra L. admits she was a big skeptic of Keep Your Home California, a free mortgage-assistance program that offers as much as $100,000 in principal reduction.

When a close friend encouraged her to apply for the federally funded program, Deidra, like many other homeowners, avoided making the call. She thought it sounded too good to be true.

Keep Your Home California assists financially strapped homeowners with their mortgage payments. Deidra, who moved to Elk Grove from San Francisco about eight years ago, was facing the real possibility of losing her home.

She had applied for other mortgage-assistance programs which didn’t pan out. And the first time she applied for Keep Your Home California, her mortgage servicer was not enrolled in the program.

But when she tried again, after the urging of the friend, Chase was participating in the program – and Deidra was approved for $100,000 in principal reduction.

“Keep Your Home California was totally different, it was very personal,” says Deidra, comparing the state-managed program with other mortgage efforts. “The process was very user-friendly. And you’re not passed over to people who don’t know about your situation. That’s very comforting to me.”

Deidra, who retired early with a severe disability from the U.S. Postal Service, was approved for the maximum in principal reduction in about 30 days.

“It was like a dream come true,” Deidra says of the application process and the program. “They want you to keep your home.”

So, after some phone calls and sending in her paperwork, a one-time skeptic became a big-time fan of Keep Your Home California.

“I cannot express it in words, it brought tears to my eyes,” says Deidra, whose monthly mortgage has been reduced by a few hundred dollars as part of the program “It was such a relief. I was sitting there in tears; I was prepared to lose my home. I’m keeping my home California.”

Carrie G

Homeowner says she was ‘simply a statistic’ to her mortgage servicer, then she came across Keep Your Home California and saved her house

Sometimes homeowners need a little help – and some hope.

Just ask Carrie G. The wife and mother of two toddlers was able to “catch up’ on her mortgage payments thanks to Keep Your Home California after a challenging, emotional and extremely frustrating experience with her mortgage servicer.

“We weren’t looking for a handout,” says Carrie, whose story is like many other homeowners in the state. Her husband, a construction worker, lost his job for six months and the family struggled financially, getting behind on their mortgage payments. “It’s our responsibility, our house.”

But “as hard as we tried to stay on top of our finances, things just got ahead of us and we ultimately fell behind on our mortgage,” says Carrie, who gave birth to their now 1-year-old daughter during this period.
So, Carrie, the manager of a veterinarian hospital, began looking at their mortgage options in order to save their home.

“For close to two years, I lived breathed and slept financial statements, tax returns, hardship letters and being transferred around from one bank employee to another,” she says. “I was simply just a statistic, not a wife, not a mother, not a homeowner.”

Eventually, their bank approved the couple for a temporary loan modification – and a smaller payment while her husband was out of work and on disability for six months. However, the mortgage servicer denied converting the temporary loan modification into a permanent modification, and even required the financially struggling couple to pay an additional $21,000.

She got the bad news the day before Thanksgiving in 2013.

“I was in tears, I just lost it,” says Carrie, who lives in the East Bay. “After a roller-coaster ride of being approved, then denied a modification with our lender, we ultimately faced the heart-wrenching reality that we may very well lose our home.”

Then, during one of her many calls with the mortgage servicer, a representative mentioned Keep Your Home California.

“I had heard the radio ads, but I thought it was just one more employee trying to shove me off to someone else,” she says. “We had already started looking for homes to rent and finding someone to help with the foreclosure.”

But Carrie contacted the Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center, one of the nonprofit housing counseling agencies that has partnered with Keep Your Home California, in the Bay Area. A certified housing counselor, Nai, walked Carrie and her husband through the application process – all for free.

“Not once did she make me feel ashamed of our situation,” Carrie says. “She offered nothing but support, guidance and assurance that we were not alone. It honestly seemed like a pipe dream that we would receive the aid.”

The couple applied for the free mortgage-assistance program in December and were approved in mid-January.

“They gave me updates, they didn’t give me false hope,” she says. “It’s some of the best news I’ve ever heard.”

Keep Your Home California’s Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program allowed the couple to “catch up” on their mortgage.

“I definitely sing your praises,” she says. “This is truly changing our life, changing our future and rescuing my family and our home. Words can’t express our gratitude for what has been done for us. We feel like this is a fresh start for us.”

And there are many other families in similar situations, Carrie says.

“My heart goes out to those people,” she says. “I know there are tens of thousands of people with stories much worse than ours. My advice to them is to not give up, have faith and persevere. You never know what may lay around the corner.”

Eleanor E

‘My home is my anchor,’ says homeowner who benefited from Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program

Homeowner Eleanor E. becomes emotional when she talks about Keep Your Home California.

“I’m here, I’ve got my home … and I was so close to losing it, says Eleanor, a hardworking grandmother who has lived in her Southern California home for the past 13 years.

But, like many Californians during the past several years, Eleanor lost her job, had a hard time finding work and got behind on her monthly mortgage payments.

“Early 2013 was awful; it was horrendous,” says Eleanor, whose mother died during the first few months of last year. “Problems don’t discriminate.”

In fact, Eleanor was close to filing for bankruptcy protection when she found a good job.

But even with her new job, there was still another financial hurdle – more than $20,000 in missed mortgage payments. Eleanor faced the reality of losing her home.

“I just kept getting further behind, I was devastated,” says Eleanor, whose daughter and two grandchildren live with her.

Then, she was told about Keep Your Home California’s Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program. The program offers as much as $25,000 to help homeowners like Eleanor to “catch up” on their mortgage payments.

“It didn’t take very long, maybe six weeks from start to finish” to be approved for the program, says Eleanor, who connected personally with the counseling center representative. “I felt like I had a friend who helped with my paperwork. I was in tears when she called. I think she was crying because I was crying.”

The house means a lot to Eleanor and her family.

“My home is my anchor,” says Eleanor, who has a 7-year-old autistic grandson.  “It’s so important for my grandson to have stability, come home to the same place. It would have been devastating (to lose the home).”

Now, the family gets to keep the home thanks to Keep Your Home California, a program that Eleanor shares with family and friends. In fact, she carries the phone number to the program in her wallet.

“It’s a Godsend, a miracle,” she says of the program. “I’m here, I’ve got my home, and I was so close to losing it.”

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.”

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?

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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.