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EDD flyer connects out-of-work homeowner to Keep Your Home California

Longtime homeowner Joan K.’s piece of the American Dream hit a major bump of reality when she lost her job in the summer 2013.

But when a brochure from the Employment Development Department arrived in her mailbox, she learned of Keep Your Home California, the free mortgage-assistance program for financially strapped homeowners.

Joan, a longtime employee in the hospitality industry, was at first a bit skeptical of the state-run program, but still applied a few months later.

“It almost sounded too good to be true,” Joan says of the federally-funded program. “I really had no other options.”
She applied for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMA), which offers as much as $3,000 per month for up to 18 months, and was approved in about six weeks, only a few days before Christmas.

“It (the brochure) was very educational, and I appreciate all of the people who always took the next step,” from the customer-service employees at Keep Your Home California to a vice president at Chase. “It was another Christmas present.”

Indeed, the program allowed Joan to deal with a work-related injury while she continued to look for a new position.

“How can you not be grateful? It’s a Godsend,” Joan says of Keep Your Home California. “I don’t want to think what my circumstances would have been without it.”

She bought her condo in Northern California a decade ago, and remains extremely pleased and proud of her purchase. But when she lost her job, just like more than 2 million other Californians in recent years, making the mortgage payment was tough and she feared losing her condo.

“You do whatever you can to keep your home,” says Joan, who lives on a tight budget. “I don’t take a penny for granted. Every penny matters.”

It’s a well-known challenge for many homeowners in California.

“I try to tell as many people as possible about Keep Your Home California,” says Joan, who volunteers at the local food bank while she looks for work. “I always tell people to look into the program. There are a lot of people in the same situation.”

MarycruzCain

Health care bills and a job loss created some serious financial problems for homeowner Marycruz C. and her family.

“It’s been a challenge,” says the wife and mother of three sons in Southern California. “It’s been a rough five years. There was always something happening, we were always behind.”

But Keep Your Home California, a free mortgage-assistance program, was “a miracle,” allowing the family to catch up on its payments and reduce a significant amount of principal.

Marycruz came across a TV commercial detailing the federally funded, state-managed program and applied in March. She was approved for the Principal Reduction Program, which offers as much as $100,000 in assistance, a few months later.

The Principal Reduction Program helps homeowners with unaffordable or even underwater mortgages, where the amount owed exceeds the value of the home. The program can lower monthly payments by hundreds of dollars, giving homeowners some much-appreciated and greatly needed financial help.

“We were blessed,” Marycruz says. “They make it so easy to apply. The people will help you through the application process. The counselor gave us advice on what to do. He was guiding us.”

Marycruz and her family faced several financial hardships, including extraordinary health care bills and her husband’s previous job loss.

Now the family, who has lived in their home since 2004, is back on track.

“We got another chance to get back on our feet,” she says. “We want to raise our children here and retire in this house. We want our children and grandchildren to visit us in our house.”

With the help of Keep Your Home California, the family’s dream is a good possibility.
“It doesn’t hurt to try” for financially struggling homeowners to apply for the program, she says. “I hope more families get the help they need.”

MichaelCombe

Father with six children becomes unemployed and applies for Keep Your Home California.

Mike C. spent more than 25 years working for the same company, until his position was eliminated.

“I saw the commercials on television and didn’t think anything about it,” Mike says of the Keep Your Home California ads. “All of the sudden, I was unemployed. My brother told me to apply for the program.”

Mike has lived in the same home since 2000 in San Bernardino County. Mike and his wife have raised three out of their six children in the home he loves.

“My home is everything to me,” Mike says. “For all of these years, our home has been the central place; it’s where we do Thanksgiving and Christmas every year with my family.”

Mike applied for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program through Keep Your Home California, a free mortgage-assistance program. The state-managed program offers up to $3,000 in mortgage assistance per month for up to 18 months, for out-of-work homeowners eligible for unemployment benefits.

“This program let me keep my house,” Mike says. “The only other option would have been to sell my home.”

Mike now has 16 grandchildren and has a lot of memories in his home. He says his favorite memory is when one of his daughters got married at his house.

“We were able to have a wonderful wedding for my daughter in the comfort of our own home,” Mike says.

He encourages other people to apply for Keep Your Home California.

“If they want to take the time to do it, it’s well worth it,” Mike says. “Do all the paperwork diligently and turn it in as fast as you can.”

He says the best part about the Keep Your Home California program is the diligent process.

“They gave me a list of what they wanted,” Mike says. “There were no games, and the counselors were very straightforward and wanted to help.”

Mike says he believes the program is great to have when people go through tragic events.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” Mike says. “It was a lifesaver for me and I hope it is for other people as well.”

ElaineBarlow

Homeowner battled cancer and lost her job, but kept her longtime home thanks to Keep Your Home California

Elaine B’s decades-old house is definitely her home.

Both her late-father and uncle were longtime custom homebuilders that built her house on a half-acre lot in rural San Diego County. Her younger brother designed the 36-year-old house.

“It’s been a great house, especially when my daughters were growing up,” says Elaine, who grew up and has lived in the area much of her life. “It’s nice being in the country.”

Her four daughters were active in FFA and 4H during junior high and high school, often raising dairy heifers, pigs and sheep on the property.

And the house has been the site of many family get-togethers over the years, especially the annual Christmas breakfast.

Today, three of her four daughters live nearby, and the other is a 30-minute drive away. So, Elaine gets to spend a lot of time with her 11 grandchildren, who enjoy playing in their grandmother’s big backyard.

“There are a lot of memories,” says Elaine, while watching her soon-to-be 2-year-old grandson. “I don’t want to leave my house. I’ve been living in the house for so many years.”

But when the longtime banking employee was laid off in summer 2013, losing her home was a real possibility. To make matters worse, she was diagnosed with breast cancer right before she lost her position—and her health insurance.

She asked her mortgage servicer to recast her mortgage in the hopes of saving money every month, but with no luck.

Then, Elaine came across Keep Your Home California while she was checking her email. The online ad for the free mortgage-assistance program piqued her curiosity. So, she checked into the program, called the counseling center and applied over the phone.

“I already had all of the paperwork that I had sent to my lender,” she says. “The counselor called and she talked me all the way through. She said I was like the poster-child for the program.”

She must have been: Elaine was approved for the Principal Reduction Program within 30 days (faster than most Principal Reduction Program applications). The program offers as much as $100,000 in assistance and often lowers the monthly mortgage payment.

“I thought this was going to be a hoax; there are a lot of scams out there,” says Elaine, whose principal has been reduced by $81,500, which lowered her monthly mortgage by almost $400.

The cut in monthly payments has definitely helped since Elaine was forced into an earlier-than-planned retirement and she receives significantly less income, mostly from Social Security.

“It’s a legitimate program,” she says of Keep Your Home California. “It’s really made a big difference.”

The state-managed mortgage assistance program has allowed Elaine to focus on her health, a major priority as she continues to recover from six surgeries connected to her breast cancer.

“I didn’t think any of this would happen,” says Elaine, who remains upbeat despite her battle with breast cancer and related health issues along with her job loss. “But I’m doing very well. Everything has basically turned around.”

Hearing from people like you makes our job worth it.

While we certainly don’t expect anyone to send “Thank You” cards, we love receiving updates from people who have been able to remain in their homes.

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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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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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Is your payment unaffordable even though you have emerged from your temporary hardship?

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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

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