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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.”

michelle_v

As a full-time student, physical therapist assistant and homeowner, Michelle was nearly overwhelmed.

Between rising tuition and a mortgage payment that had just increased, she was worried that a default was just around the corner. Decreasing property values left her in a position where she was unable to qualify for existing refinance programs.

Being proactive by nature, Michelle worked with a local nonprofit counselor to explore other potential options and learned about a principal reduction program being offered through Keep Your Home California. “I didn’t want to wait,” Michelle says. “I’d never been late on my mortgage payment because I knew it would just add more stress to my life. I knew I wanted to keep my home – walking away just wasn’t an option for me.”

After her over-the-phone counseling session with Keep Your Home California, Michelle was quickly qualified for a principal reduction of $50,000. Paying down her principal meant restructuring Michelle’s mortgage payment to a level she could easily afford. “I never had credit card debt,” says Michelle. “But I was living paycheck to paycheck. With both my school costs and mortgage payments increasing, I wasn’t sure how I would be able to continue to make ends meet.  Now I not only have a mortgage payment I can afford, I also have enough money to take some extra classes and get my degree sooner.”

Adding a principal reduction component to the Keep Your Home California suite of programs was a necessity according to California Housing Finance Agency executive director, Claudia Cappio. “Property values have decreased significantly in California, leaving many borrowers with so much negative equity they are not able to take advantage of the numerous refinance programs that are already available. The Principal Reduction Program was specifically created to help homeowners who are serious about living in their homes and creating longer term stability for their families by giving them an opportunity to qualify for a more sustainable modification. It certainly isn’t a panacea, but for a lot of families who don’t have any other options available to them, we believe this is a good and fair solution.”

It was certainly the answer Michelle Vera was looking for. “For me, this is a permanent solution to my mortgage problems.”

 

abigail_m

Homeowner Abigail M. has a hard-to-beat connection that introduced her to Keep Your Home California.

When Abigail of Stockton lost her accounting and executive secretary position in the homebuilding industry in late 2010, she was like many Californians — concerned about how to make ends meet, especially her mortgage payments.

“I worried that if we ran out of unemployment benefits, we were going to be homeless,” says Abigail, whose husband was battling kidney cancer and recovering from surgery at the time.

So, Abigail checked into different government housing assistance programs with little luck. She attended foreclosure prevention workshops to learn more about her options. And she even reached out to her local elected representatives and President Obama.

“I found out about the program by writing a letter to President Obama,” says Abigail, who received information about Keep Your Home California from the U.S. Treasury Department. “Thank God, people read those letters.”

Indeed, the department gave her information about the $2 billion mortgage assistance program that was established with federal funding approved by President Obama.

She applied and was approved for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program in November 2011.

“The packet was easy to follow,” Abigail says.

The couple received nine months of mortgage assistance from the state-run program, giving them some financial breathing room during a very difficult period.

“I tell everybody” about Keep Your Home California, says Abigail, adding many homeowners continue to suffer in Stockton, often reported as the hardest-hit community for foreclosures in the nation. “I look at prices in my subdivision, and it breaks my heart. Unfortunately, I’ve run into some high school friends who need help.”

“It’s been a hard road,” Abigail. “If you guys weren’t here, I can’t imagine what would have happened to a lot of us.”

alpha_r

Retired teacher Alpha R. got a firsthand lesson on the sometimes fast-paced foreclosure process – and the home-saving help from Keep Your Home California.

When Alpha got behind on her mortgage payments and received a foreclosure notice from her mortgage servicer in early 2012, she needed quick action to save her home in Yucca Valley in the High Desert of Southern California.

“I bugged everybody; I even called my Congressman’s office,” says Alpha, who was raised in New York City but has also lived in Atlanta, Tucson, and Virginia.

Then, she came across a housing counseling agency that made her aware of Keep Your Home California. She quickly completed the documents in hopes of stopping the foreclosure.

“I was scrambling to put the paperwork together,” says Alpha, who was playing beat the clock with the mortgage servicer. “There was literally a man outside my gate one day (looking to purchase the property).”

She applied for Keep Your Home California’s Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program, which offers as much as $25,000 to help hard-hit homeowners catch up on their payments. Alpha received $20,000 from the state-run program, enough money to get her back on track.

“It was tough, but it was doable,” Alpha says of the paperwork needed for the program. “Keep Your Home California was very smooth, very efficient.”

Now, Alpha can focus on a new project. She has opened a healing facility that encourages others to eat healthier and meditate.

“This is my purpose,” says the retired public school teacher for emotionally challenged students. “I still have things to do up here.”

With financial assistance from Keep Your Home California program, Alpha can turn her attention toward helping others.

“It was the best program I’ve ever run into,” says Alpha, who tells friends about the free, federally funded program. “There is something positive out there. You don’t have to give up.”

Edith-G

When a big bank closed a major service center, it created a huge problem for Edith G.

But the five-year employee and single mother turned the challenge into a major opportunity, thanks to Keep Your Home California and the state Employment Development Department.

Edith was laid off from the now-closed service center in October. She soon applied for jobless benefits – and Keep Your Home California’s Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program, which provides as much as $3,000 per month for up to one year.

Edith, who was referred by a friend, submitted her documents a few weeks after she was approved for unemployment benefits, a requirement for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program.

“The instructions are very clear, very easy,” she says. “I gave them everything that they needed.”
She was approved within a few weeks.
“I was so happy, I cried,” she says.

Now, her monthly mortgage is covered and she can focus on her education — and entering a new profession. The Employment Development Department is covering most of her costs to attend a local college and get the education needed for a state position.

“It gives me a chance to attend school, to study,” says Edith, who wants to be an accounts technician for the state. The EDD-Keep Your Home California combo has “made my life easier, better.”

And, like many homeowners who have been helped with the program, she educates others about Keep Your Home California. In fact, she posts details about the program on a Facebook page for former employees at the service center.

Several former employees have applied and been approved for Keep Your Home California, including two co-workers who also are attending college with Edith to expand their skills and hopefully get hired by the state.

“I said ‘this program is real, I’m one of the beneficiaries,’ ” she says of her Facebook post. “I got more than 50 Likes.”

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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

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2) Your Mortgage Servicer

  • Forbearance
  • Repayment plan
  • Short sale
  • Cash for keys

Contact your service provider for more information

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