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Ana-G

Homeowner Ana G.: Keep Your Home California helped during the most traumatic time in her life

Ana, originally from the Philippines, lost her husband in February 2013.

The single mom of a 6-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter says living on a single income with two children is challenging. Ana needed help, and that’s when she turned to Keep Your Home California.

Ana applied and was approved for Keep Your Home California’s Principal Reduction Program. The free mortgage-assistance program funded $43,000 to pay down Ana’s principal balance, which helped lower her monthly mortgage payments.

“It means that I can still afford to keep our lifestyle, instead of moving into an apartment,” she says.

Ana says keeping the house was a way for her children to remember their father. The family has lived in the home since 2005.

“Keeping the house was important for us,” says Ana, who lives in Northern California. “The house has a lot of memories, especially of their dad.”

The Principal Reduction Program provides as much as $100,000 in mortgage assistance for financially strapped homeowners. The program can save homeowners hundreds of dollars every month in mortgage payments.

“Moving out of the house would have been another traumatic change for my kids,” says Ana, whose mortgage servicer is Residential Credit Solutions.

Thanks to Keep Your Home California, she continues to watch her two children play sports in the backyard.

“I hope people are aware of this program,” Ana says. “It really helps you keep your house.”

richard_cynthia

Southern California homeowners Richard and Cynthia C. applied for a federal program seeking financial help for their mortgage payments last spring.

But the couple were denied because their combined income failed to meet minimum income requirements. They were devastated.

“We thought ‘what are we going to do?’” says Richard, who was laid off from his job in March 2010. His wife had also recently lost her job with a temporary agency.

Then, the Claremont couple came across Keep Your Home California while watching the local PBS station. But they were skeptical. An aunt had spent thousands of dollars for mortgage assistance with little success.

“For every good program, there are 10 bad programs” claiming to help homeowners with mortgage payments, Cynthia says.

“We started checking it out, and found that it was on the up and up,” Richard says of the state-run program with $2 billion in federal funding.

A brief phone call, followed by a longer counseling session and then the gathering and sending of documents paved the way for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program – and some security for the couple. Keep Your Home California covers their mortgage payments for six months, and now up to nine months with new expanded eligibility requirements

“Thank God,” says Richard, who adds from the first phone call to final approval took about four weeks. “It’s hard for us to find a job. It’s just been so difficult. It’s been a godsend.”

Now, Cynthia and Richard, who have a daughter attending college, tell family members and friends about Keep Your home California. ‘We’re mentioning the program all of the time,” she says.

They want other hard-hit homeowners to apply for and take advantage of the program that offers the opportunity to look for work without worrying about mortgage payments.

“It gives you peace of mind,” Richard says of Keep Your Home California. “This uplifted us.”

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.”

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.”

Frank-H.

During the past dozen years, Frank H. has battled cancer, diabetes that caused him to lose his foot, the death of his parents and his longtime employer closed the plant where he worked and moved operations to Mexico.

Despite the challenges and difficulties, Frank feels blessed when he thinks of his family and friends, especially a housing counselor who introduced him to Keep Your Home California. He is also evidence that good things often happen to those who help others.

“I have a large family, and they’ve always been a big help,” says Frank, who often watches his nephews and nieces – and sometimes even their children — at his Fresno home. “My sister and brother often come over and bring me dinner.”

But he almost lost his home several months ago.

Frank was a manager of a door manufacturing company in Fresno when he lost his foot to diabetes in 2001, but he kept working. Several years later, the company closed the local plant and moved to Mexico, leaving Frank – and many others — without work. Then, he was diagnosed with cancer that required chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Frank was approved for disability and still had health coverage because he paid $600 per month through his former employer. But even with health coverage, his medical bills were too much and prompted him to look at refinancing, a possible fix to his financial hardship.

“I tried to refinance, but they weren’t willing to restructure the loan,” says Frank, adding that he had multiple mortgage servicers during one year.

And as his mortgage servicers kept changing – making refinancing impossible – his medical bills kept arriving in the mail.

“My house was underwater, I just couldn’t make it,” Frank says. “I got behind on all of my bills. I had to choose every month what bills to pay.”

Frank had a longtime friend help him with some of his bills. And a chance meeting helped him lower his mortgage principal.

He was completing more refinance applications when he volunteered to help the needy in Fresno. His good deed led to good fortune, meeting housing counselor Elba Morales who had a booth at the event to help financially strapped homeowners. Morales was at the event on behalf of the Fresno Housing Authority, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency that partners with Keep Your Home California to help homeowners apply for the free program.

A few months later, Morales was digging through her documents looking for homeowners who could get help from Keep Your Home California and she remembered Frank.

“She went through the files in her closet to see who would be a good candidate” for the mortgage-assistance program, says Frank. “She knew that I was going through a rough time. She told me exactly what I needed to do. She took my hand, step by step.”

Frank applied for the Principal Reduction Program, which offers as much as $100,000 to homeowners, in late November. He was approved for the program two months later, and his principal was reduced by $47,000.

“Just taking that chunk off the principal, that’s a real Godsend,” says Frank, whose monthly mortgage payment dropped from $926 to $624.”It’s a lot of help to me, it’s a lifesaver.”

And that’s saying a lot for the cancer survivor who continues to deal with numerous health issues.

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

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

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

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