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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.”

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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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

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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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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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