42,845*

Californians have qualified so far.

Maybe we can help you keep your home, too.

Find out if you qualify!

jack_h

Mortgage industry veteran Jack H. has experienced fast-rising home prices and plunge-like-a-rock housing values during his 30-year career. But nothing compares to the current market.

“I never thought it would be this bad – and for this long,” says Jack, who lives in Orangevale, about 20 miles from the state Capitol in downtown Sacramento. “It’s new ground for everybody.”

Indeed, homeowners who once enjoyed annual double-digit price gains have endured an average decline in their home value of more than 40 percent since the housing crisis started. And one-time multiple offers for homes have given way to a record number of foreclosures and short sales as lenders take them back.

“We didn’t realize how good we had it,” says Jack, referring to the booming economy during the first half of this past decade that has turned into a gut-wrenching bust since 2007.

Jack – like more than 2 million Californians – is unemployed. He has been jobless off and on for the past three years.

“I had a lot of responsibility,” Jack says of his previous positions in the mortgage industry, including as an executive with The Money Store. The company was one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders before being sold more than a decade ago.

“Now, it’s hard to get a job,” says Jack, who is receiving mortgage assistance from Keep Your Home California while he looks for work.

Jack first heard about the state-run program at the California State Fair in mid-July. He completed an application and the necessary documents and was approved for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program two weeks later.

“It all happened very quickly,” he says. “I was impressed with the service.”

Keep Your Home California, with $2 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund®, started paying his monthly mortgage in September and will continue for the next several months – or until Jack finds work.

“It helps me breathe a little,” says Jack, a matter-of-fact guy who moved from his native New Jersey to the Sacramento region in 1994. “It’s nice to not make a payment for a while.”

So, with Keep Your Home California handling his mortgage payments, Jack concentrates on applying for positions, including those in one of the hardest-hit industries where he had a front-row seat to the housing meltdown – and now watches for the recovery.

“Nobody is looking to upgrade” their home, says Jack, who expects the housing market to struggle for some time. “It’s not going to be an easy turnaround.”

Jack, a Navy veteran and former reservist with the Navy and Army National Guard, volunteers at a local church when he is not looking for work.

“Anybody I talk to, I tell them (about Keep Your Home California),” he says. “It was painless, it was easy.”

 

Testimonials

Homeowner Candy W. says persistence pays off.

The Sacramento-area resident applied for Keep Your Home California in July 2012, but she didn’t qualify at that time.

Several months later, she was approved for a hefty principal reduction by the state-managed program that lowers her monthly mortgage payments by hundreds of dollars.

“It’s all about documentation,” says Candy, who bought her home eight years ago at the peak of the housing market. “You have to be persistent.”

Candy had looked into other programs; she had been approved for two loan modifications, which lowered her interest rate from 5.75% to about 4.75% — but those saved her only $30 per month.

She needed more help.

As a state employee, Candy had lost a significant amount of income from furloughs and through a divorce. So, when she heard about Keep Your Home California on Sacramento TV station KCRA and a local radio station, she decided to apply and see if the state mortgage-assistance program was an option.

“It was a shot in the dark,” says Candy, who admits she was stressed about her mortgage. “But I was hopeful that something would come along.”

She says the process was rather simple, but adds that homeowners need to complete the paperwork as soon as possible and be an active participant in the process.

“Everything just has to be documented,” she says. “It’s just about following along with your processor.”

Now, she tells coworkers and friends about Keep Your Home California.

“It’s pretty encouraging,” says Candy, who has detailed the program to at least 10 coworkers during the past several months. “This is a major help.”

audrey_m

Homeowner Audrey M. was committed to keeping her home – and finding a full-time position.

She accomplished both with the help of Keep Your Home California.

“It’s my home; I love it,” says Audrey, who bought her Elk Grove house 10 years ago. “I didn’t want to lose it, and I didn’t want to rent it out.”

Audrey applied for Keep Your Home California in March, but was first denied since she cashed-out when she refinanced her home. A few months later, a counselor called Audrey and told her to apply again since some guidelines had changed.

“It happened very fast,” Audrey says of the application process. “It was very clear, very easy to understand.”

Of course, Audrey, who was out of work for 20 months, says her three-decade career in the banking industry likely helped her speed along the application process. But she adds most homeowners could complete the application and tackle the paperwork with little trouble.

After sending some documents and writing a hardship letter, Audrey was approved for the program, allowing her to focus on the all-important job search in one of the hardest-hit industries in the state.

Keep Your Home California made her monthly mortgage payments for five months – July through November. Her sixth, and final, mortgage payment from the state program was never sent.

And Audrey couldn’t have been happier – she found a job in nearby Roseville.

“It’s a great program,” said Audrey, who started her new banking position in November.

Audrey, like many program recipients, touts Keep Your Home California to friends facing difficult times who are also looking for work.

“I wish more people would learn about the program,” she says.

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.”

 

Rosa C

Rosa says ‘it felt like the walls were caving in’ until she found Keep Your Home California

Keep Your Home California’s Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program was designed with Rosa C. in mind.

Rosa – a wife and mother of four children – lost her job as a bank teller and noticed the free program when she was on the state Employment Development Department website.

“I never knew there were programs available” to help homeowners with their mortgage payments, says Rosa of Fresno. A few clicks later, she had the details of the state mortgage-assistance program. “I said, ‘Oh this is for me.’ I called the number to make sure.”

She expected lengthy delays and a lot of paperwork.

“I thought it was going to be hard,” she says. “But I just followed the instructions. It was pretty simple.”

In less than a month, Rosa and her husband were approved, with their mortgage payments covered by the federally funded program for one year.

“It was very fast. Actually, I didn’t think I was going to get approved,” says Rosa, who was notified by U.S. mail rather than email, since her computer was giving her trouble. “When I received the letter, it was very special. I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy.”

Keep Your Home California has allowed the six-member family to remain in their house, where they have lived the past nine years. It’s been the family’s first – and only – home.

“It’s definitely helped us a lot, and has relieved a lot of the stress,” says Rosa, who, like most people without work, worried about her family’s finances. “It felt like the walls were caving in.”

Now, the former bank teller can concentrate full time on finding a job without worrying about the mortgage.

“It lets me breathe and go through what I have to with confidence,” she says.

Rosa, who adds she hears the Keep Your Home California ads on the radio, helps promote the program whenever possible.

“I mention it to all of my friends and family members,” she says. “I tell them that there is this program, and they should give it a try.”

“People who fall behind a month or two, they think that they’ve lost their house; they start packing,” she says. “They are so scared, it’s ridiculous.”

Instead, cash-strapped homeowners should consider contacting Keep Your Home California for assistance. Perhaps, just like Rosa, they’ll breathe a bit easier.

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.