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.”