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Californians have qualified so far.

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laurie_c

Longtime mortgage professional Laurie C. entered the fast-paced business because she “likes helping people.”

Now, Laurie – who has enjoyed a 20-year career in the home lending industry but has endured three recessions along the way – is getting a helping hand from Keep Your Home California.

Like many homeowners in California, Laurie has become a casualty of the dismal economy and the hard-hit housing market. She has been “in and out of work” for the past five years, as the housing market struggles through one of its worst downturns.

She was most recently laid off July 1, and soon after applied for Keep Your Home California’s Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program. The state-run program helps out-of-work homeowners with their payments, up to a maximum of $3,000 per month for six months.

“I tried to do a modification … but they gave me the runaround for a year,” Laurie says. The Keep Your Home Program was different. “They had me qualified and eligible in 10 days.”

The mortgage servicer, which must participate in the program, approved the payment plan for Laurie a week later.

Keep Your Home California – established with $2 billion in federal funds through the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund® – started making her monthly $750 mortgage payment in September, and will continue through February, Laurie says.

“I don’t know what I’d be doing” without the mortgage assistance, says Laurie, who lives in a condominium in Roseville, about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento. “I totally believe in this program.”

Laurie often educates other financially strapped homeowners about the Keep Your Home California and how the program has helped her save her home.

“I’m out there selling it,” Laurie says. “I’m a true believer that things happen for a reason.”

 

 

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.

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.”

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.”

Carrie G

Homeowner says she was ‘simply a statistic’ to her mortgage servicer, then she came across Keep Your Home California and saved her house

Sometimes homeowners need a little help – and some hope.

Just ask Carrie G. The wife and mother of two toddlers was able to “catch up’ on her mortgage payments thanks to Keep Your Home California after a challenging, emotional and extremely frustrating experience with her mortgage servicer.

“We weren’t looking for a handout,” says Carrie, whose story is like many other homeowners in the state. Her husband, a construction worker, lost his job for six months and the family struggled financially, getting behind on their mortgage payments. “It’s our responsibility, our house.”

But “as hard as we tried to stay on top of our finances, things just got ahead of us and we ultimately fell behind on our mortgage,” says Carrie, who gave birth to their now 1-year-old daughter during this period.
So, Carrie, the manager of a veterinarian hospital, began looking at their mortgage options in order to save their home.

“For close to two years, I lived breathed and slept financial statements, tax returns, hardship letters and being transferred around from one bank employee to another,” she says. “I was simply just a statistic, not a wife, not a mother, not a homeowner.”

Eventually, their bank approved the couple for a temporary loan modification – and a smaller payment while her husband was out of work and on disability for six months. However, the mortgage servicer denied converting the temporary loan modification into a permanent modification, and even required the financially struggling couple to pay an additional $21,000.

She got the bad news the day before Thanksgiving in 2013.

“I was in tears, I just lost it,” says Carrie, who lives in the East Bay. “After a roller-coaster ride of being approved, then denied a modification with our lender, we ultimately faced the heart-wrenching reality that we may very well lose our home.”

Then, during one of her many calls with the mortgage servicer, a representative mentioned Keep Your Home California.

“I had heard the radio ads, but I thought it was just one more employee trying to shove me off to someone else,” she says. “We had already started looking for homes to rent and finding someone to help with the foreclosure.”

But Carrie contacted the Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center, one of the nonprofit housing counseling agencies that has partnered with Keep Your Home California, in the Bay Area. A certified housing counselor, Nai, walked Carrie and her husband through the application process – all for free.

“Not once did she make me feel ashamed of our situation,” Carrie says. “She offered nothing but support, guidance and assurance that we were not alone. It honestly seemed like a pipe dream that we would receive the aid.”

The couple applied for the free mortgage-assistance program in December and were approved in mid-January.

“They gave me updates, they didn’t give me false hope,” she says. “It’s some of the best news I’ve ever heard.”

Keep Your Home California’s Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program allowed the couple to “catch up” on their mortgage.

“I definitely sing your praises,” she says. “This is truly changing our life, changing our future and rescuing my family and our home. Words can’t express our gratitude for what has been done for us. We feel like this is a fresh start for us.”

And there are many other families in similar situations, Carrie says.

“My heart goes out to those people,” she says. “I know there are tens of thousands of people with stories much worse than ours. My advice to them is to not give up, have faith and persevere. You never know what may lay around the corner.”

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?

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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.