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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.

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.”

Testimonials

Keep Your Home California delivers for former postal service employee, eliminating $100,000 from her mortgage

Homeowner Deidra L. admits she was a big skeptic of Keep Your Home California, a free mortgage-assistance program that offers as much as $100,000 in principal reduction.

When a close friend encouraged her to apply for the federally funded program, Deidra, like many other homeowners, avoided making the call. She thought it sounded too good to be true.

Keep Your Home California assists financially strapped homeowners with their mortgage payments. Deidra, who moved to Elk Grove from San Francisco about eight years ago, was facing the real possibility of losing her home.

She had applied for other mortgage-assistance programs which didn’t pan out. And the first time she applied for Keep Your Home California, her mortgage servicer was not enrolled in the program.

But when she tried again, after the urging of the friend, Chase was participating in the program – and Deidra was approved for $100,000 in principal reduction.

“Keep Your Home California was totally different, it was very personal,” says Deidra, comparing the state-managed program with other mortgage efforts. “The process was very user-friendly. And you’re not passed over to people who don’t know about your situation. That’s very comforting to me.”

Deidra, who retired early with a severe disability from the U.S. Postal Service, was approved for the maximum in principal reduction in about 30 days.

“It was like a dream come true,” Deidra says of the application process and the program. “They want you to keep your home.”

So, after some phone calls and sending in her paperwork, a one-time skeptic became a big-time fan of Keep Your Home California.

“I cannot express it in words, it brought tears to my eyes,” says Deidra, whose monthly mortgage has been reduced by a few hundred dollars as part of the program “It was such a relief. I was sitting there in tears; I was prepared to lose my home. I’m keeping my home California.”

curtis_h

Sometimes being a pack rat pays off. Just ask Curtis H.

Curtis received some information about Keep Your Home California almost a year ago.

‘I didn’t even read it at the time,” says Curtis, who tucked away the information though he doesn’t really know why. “I guess I’m kind of a pack rat.”

Several months – and a divorce – later, the information proved valuable. It’s been the difference between losing and keeping his home in Lincoln, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento.

“I knew it was too much money alone,” says Curtis, who lost his former wife’s income and was forced to make the mortgage payment alone. “I took over all of the bills, and I wasn’t able to afford all my payments.

“I had absolutely no cash,” says Curtis, a construction industry worker. “If I had the car break down, it would have to be on the VISA (card).”

Curtis applied for the principal reduction program in June, hoping to cut his monthly mortgage payment and the money owed on his new home.

“It was easy, it really blew me away,” says Curtis, who adds the biggest challenge was writing the hardship letter, detailing his financial challenges. But after a quick search online, he found a few hardship letters that served as his guide. “The paperwork was easy.”

Curtis says the determination is well worth the effort. Keep Your Home California approved his principal reduction application this summer, saving him about $132 per month.

“It doesn’t sound like a substantial amount, but it was enough money,” Curtis says. “I won a raffle, a prize.”

The state-run program also dropped his principal from $230,000 to $209,000.

“Technically, I got a lot more than $21,000” in principal reduction, says Curtis, who crunched the numbers and figures his overall savings during the lifetime of his mortgage was much higher. “It’s a huge difference. It was a miracle.”

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.

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

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