48,394*

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.”

david_s

Homeowner David S. has battled a bad economy, the hard-hit housing market and a gloomy jobs outlook – just like many Californians.

But David, who has owned his condominium in the Park Mesa neighborhood in San Diego for 10 years, is committed to keeping his home and finding a job, even in a new profession.

He applied for a loan modification through his mortgage lender, with no luck after an exhausting and lengthy effort. He made larger-than-required payments for a few months to lower the mortgage principal and show his dedication to homeownership. And even during the most difficult months financially, David made at least half of the monthly mortgage payment.

Still, the long-term unemployed professional was facing the grim reality of losing his condo.

Then, David applied for Keep Your Home California in mid-April. His commitment and attention to detail – he has three, 3-inch thick binders of financial and mortgage-related paperwork – paid off in June when he was approved for the state-run mortgage assistance program.

Keep Your Home California, funded by the federal government’s Hardest Hit Fund®, made his mortgage payments in July, August and September, and will likely continue through the end of the year.

“I’m very grateful for the program,” David says. His application was a bit more complicated than most, especially since he had a commission-only job for a brief period that created a hiccup with the state Employment Development Department and much slower-than-average processing by his mortgage servicer.

But the end result was well worth the effort and allows him to concentrate on finding a job – and possibly a new career.

“They’re trying to find you suitable time to find employment,” says David, a former director of sales and senior associate for an audio visual company. “I don’t have to worry about the risk of losing my home while looking for employment.”

David encourages other out-of-work homeowners to look into the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, which has about $875 million in funding. Keep Your Home California expects to help about 60,500 homeowners with the program, with average funding of $14,455.

“It’s a horrible … terrible feeling” to face the possibility of losing your home, David says. “Time is what this program has given me.”

“I think everybody is trying to figure out what is next” with the economy and the housing market, he says. “When there is a happy ending, this program will be what saved me.”

Susan-M

Unemployment program eases ‘some of my concerns’

Human resources executive Susan M. first heard about Keep Your Home California during a large round of layoffs at her work.

Rapid response team representatives detailed numerous jobless benefits available to the affected employees, including Keep Your Home California’s Unemployment Management Assistance Program.

Susan, who held her position for more than 20 years, was used to hearing about programs established to help unemployed workers. But, this time, she was among the almost 100 employees laid off as part of an acquisition by a much-larger company.

“Thank God, there was something out there for us,” she says. “This is really a great program for those who have hit a bump in the road.”

Under the free mortgage-assistance program, out-of-work homeowners who are eligible for unemployment benefits from the state Employment Development Department can receive as much as $3,000 per month for up to one year.

“It’s bought me some extra time,” says Susan, who is busy looking for full-time jobs in Southern California. “I am very grateful.”

She applied for the free program on June 6, and was approved for funding July 2.

“I was kind of surprised, that was really fast,” she says. “Within 10 days, Keep Your Home California said everything looked good and they sent the information to the credit union.”

A couple weeks later, her mortgage servicer, Logix Federal Credit Union, approved her for the state-managed program. Dozens of credit unions participate in the program.

“The application process was very easy, but there was a lot of paperwork,” says Susan, who bought her home north of Los Angeles in 2003. “Having a little bit of knowledge (about completing paperwork) helped.”

Now, she can focus her attention on finding another job rather than worry about her monthly mortgage payment.

“I’m very thankful,” Susan says. “It doesn’t solve all of my problems, but it does ease some of my concerns.”

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.

Frank-H.

During the past dozen years, Frank H. has battled cancer, diabetes that caused him to lose his foot, the death of his parents and his longtime employer closed the plant where he worked and moved operations to Mexico.

Despite the challenges and difficulties, Frank feels blessed when he thinks of his family and friends, especially a housing counselor who introduced him to Keep Your Home California. He is also evidence that good things often happen to those who help others.

“I have a large family, and they’ve always been a big help,” says Frank, who often watches his nephews and nieces – and sometimes even their children — at his Fresno home. “My sister and brother often come over and bring me dinner.”

But he almost lost his home several months ago.

Frank was a manager of a door manufacturing company in Fresno when he lost his foot to diabetes in 2001, but he kept working. Several years later, the company closed the local plant and moved to Mexico, leaving Frank – and many others — without work. Then, he was diagnosed with cancer that required chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Frank was approved for disability and still had health coverage because he paid $600 per month through his former employer. But even with health coverage, his medical bills were too much and prompted him to look at refinancing, a possible fix to his financial hardship.

“I tried to refinance, but they weren’t willing to restructure the loan,” says Frank, adding that he had multiple mortgage servicers during one year.

And as his mortgage servicers kept changing – making refinancing impossible – his medical bills kept arriving in the mail.

“My house was underwater, I just couldn’t make it,” Frank says. “I got behind on all of my bills. I had to choose every month what bills to pay.”

Frank had a longtime friend help him with some of his bills. And a chance meeting helped him lower his mortgage principal.

He was completing more refinance applications when he volunteered to help the needy in Fresno. His good deed led to good fortune, meeting housing counselor Elba Morales who had a booth at the event to help financially strapped homeowners. Morales was at the event on behalf of the Fresno Housing Authority, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency that partners with Keep Your Home California to help homeowners apply for the free program.

A few months later, Morales was digging through her documents looking for homeowners who could get help from Keep Your Home California and she remembered Frank.

“She went through the files in her closet to see who would be a good candidate” for the mortgage-assistance program, says Frank. “She knew that I was going through a rough time. She told me exactly what I needed to do. She took my hand, step by step.”

Frank applied for the Principal Reduction Program, which offers as much as $100,000 to homeowners, in late November. He was approved for the program two months later, and his principal was reduced by $47,000.

“Just taking that chunk off the principal, that’s a real Godsend,” says Frank, whose monthly mortgage payment dropped from $926 to $624.”It’s a lot of help to me, it’s a lifesaver.”

And that’s saying a lot for the cancer survivor who continues to deal with numerous health issues.

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.