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Iris-O

Daughter finds free program to help her parents with the mortgage

Homeowner Iris O. had a difficult – and different – situation.

She bought a house with her parents in Sanger, California. But when she became engaged, she moved out of the house. Then, her father lost his longtime job.

Iris was helping her father with the unemployment process when she learned about Keep Your Home California from the state Employment Development Department website.

“I was like, ‘Really, they will pay for that?’” she says of her mortgage. “Is there really a program that exists?”

The free mortgage assistance program will pay as much as $3,000 per month for up to 12 months for homeowners who are collecting jobless benefits from the EDD.

“I had to provide a lot of information,” says Iris, including bills – such as her utility payments – to prove where she currently lives. “It was time-consuming, but it’s worth it.  Once I responded, it was an easy process.  They were really helpful and willing to work with me.”

A few weeks after applying, Iris and her parents were approved for the state-funded program in March.

“They were very excited” when they were approved for the program, Iris says of her parents. “It eases the stress of making the mortgage payment. But it’s only a short-term solution, we’re still upside down.”

So, Iris will consider applying for a second program through Keep Your Home California, for a more sustainable solution to her family’s mortgage struggles.

In the meantime, the monthly mortgage payment is covered and her father, a longtime farm laborer, has one less worry.

“Now, he has more time to look for a job,” Iris said.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

 

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

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

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

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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

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2) Your Mortgage Servicer

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

Contact your service provider for more information

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