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Danielle

Single mother turns to Keep Your Home California after being laid off

Plummeting crude oil prices hurt many oil companies in the Bakersfield region.

Unfortunately, Danielle B. is one of those employees who worked for an oil company. She says her company started laying off workers earlier rather than later.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do after I lost my job,” Danielle says.

Danielle was let go in fall 2014 and was told her position would be eliminated since the company was downsizing. She was a special projects coordinator, which looked over invoicing and auditing.

Danielle is a single mother who does it all. She has two children – an 18-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son. Both grew up in the home they live in today. It’s also the first home Danielle ever owned.

“Our next-door neighbors have children the same age and they all went to school together,” Danielle says. “They are like family.”

A Keep Your Home California flyer that she received in the mail is how she found out about the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program. The Employment Development Department has mailed more than 1.5 million of the Keep Your Home California flyers to homeowners in California during the past two years.

The free mortgage-assistance program offers homeowners who have received unemployment benefits within the past 30 days from the Employment Development Department as much as $3,000 per month, for a maximum of 18 months.

Danielle says she’s extremely blessed.

“My house means everything to me,” she says.

After she received the approval letter from Keep Your Home California, she says the weight was lifted off of her shoulders.

“When the parents are stressed, the kids are, too,” Danielle says. “I was able to focus on trying to find a job without worrying how I was going to pay for my mortgage.”

Danielle wants others to know that everybody from Keep Your Home California has been helpful and nice throughout the process.

“The worst answer you could get is ‘no,’ so definitely give it a try,” Danielle says. “Don’t be afraid to apply for the program. A lot of people have pride and don’t want to ask for help, but they should.”

Danielle is ecstatic that her kids will be able to stay in their first home and her daughter will graduate from the same high school.

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.”

Testimonials

EDD flyer led Daniel O. to Keep Your Home California

When Daniel O. lost his full-time job, he was like most people – he worried, a lot.

“I didn’t know what to do,” says Daniel, who lives in the Los Angeles area.

Then, he came across a flyer about Keep Your Home California from the state Employment Development Department. The state agency mailed more than 1.4 million flyers about the free mortgage-assistance program during 2014 alone.

Daniel, who has lived in the same home with his wife for 15 years, applied for Keep Your Home California in late spring 2013.

“There was a lot of information requested, but it really wasn’t all that complicated,” says Daniel, who was approved in a few weeks for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program.

The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program provides as much as $3,000 per month for up to 18 months to out-of-work homeowners eligible for assistance from the EDD. The assistance will cover everything that is impounded with the monthly mortgage payment, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance and homeowner association fees.

“It was great,” says Daniel, who recommends the program to other homeowners in similar situations. “It was really a Godsend.”

In fact, Daniel was in a better situation than many other homeowners looking for work. He and his wife were a month ahead on their mortgage payments and had some savings.

Keep Your Home California allowed Daniel to focus on finding another full-time job without worrying about his mortgage.

“It was such a relief … very thankful,” says Daniel, whose mortgage servicer is Wells Fargo, one of the most active servicers enrolled in Keep Your Home California. “We couldn’t have done it without the program.”

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.”

Testimonials

Debra says homeowners shouldn’t delay and apply for the program as soon as possible.

Debra T. has a bit of advice for cash-strapped homeowners considering the Keep Your Home California program – don’t delay and call today.

“I kept putting it off,” says Debra, who kept hearing Keep Your Home California commercials on radio station KFRG (better-known as “KFROG” in Southern California). “I didn’t want to hear the word ‘no.’ ”

Eventually, Debra applied for the federally funded, state-run mortgage program early last year and was approved in May 2012. She was approved for $100,000 in principal reduction, the maximum under the Principal Reduction Program.

A servicer-approved loan modification coupled with the Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction Program dropped her principal from $280,000 to $138,000.

“I was so ecstatic.” says Debra, who lives in Bloomington in San Bernardino County. “I’m so thankful that this type of program was available.”

Debra definitely fits the requirements for help from the $2 billion program, established under the Hardest Hit Fund. Her husband died after a long battle with cancer in 2008. He didn’t have life insurance and even with health insurance, the medical bills took their financial toll.

“My biggest fear was losing the house,” says Debra, who has three children at home and her mother living with them as well. “It’s a small house and it’s a little cramped, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

She suspects her experience with her mortgage servicer is probably similar to many other homeowners, who are struggling to keep their homes.

“It’s really frustrating to a lot of homeowners,” she says. “I’m sure a lot of homeowners lost their homes because servicers dragged their feet or they were just overwhelmed (with the number of homes and homeowners in trouble).”

But her experience with Keep Your Home California was much better.

“I was really pleased with the response from Keep Your Home California,” Debra says. Her counselor “was very helpful.”

So, Debra strongly encourages homeowners to learn more about the program and apply for the free mortgage help as soon as possible.

“I recommend the program to anyone who is struggling,” she says. “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

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

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

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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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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 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

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

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