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Californians have qualified so far.

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Homeowner Wayne M. has counseled many families looking for the American Dream – and those living through a real-life nightmare.

It’s been more the latter in recent years, as hard-hit homeowners struggle with their mortgage payments and try to fend off foreclosure. Many cash-strapped homeowners ask for help months after they get behind on their mortgage and have received multiple late payment notices from their servicer.

“Some people are very reluctant” to ask for help, says Wayne, a homeownership counselor for Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County. “You ignore the problem; you think it will go away. You just try to forget about it.”

But it doesn’t. Just ask Wayne.

His full-time job is to help homeowners apply for government assistance programs such as Keep Your Home California. Wayne is also a client of the state-run program. He was recently approved for the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program, which offers as much as $25,000 to help homeowners catch up on their mortgage payments.

“Just a little tweak and you can get people back to normal,” he says. “The little tweak really helped me out.”

Now, the Los Angeles County homeowner is back on track with his mortgage payments and his financial footing.

“Basically, it bought me some time … gave me some breathing room,” says Wayne, who is married and has three children. “I talk it up at events, even when I’m in the grocery store. I’m not only a counselor, but a client.”

His firsthand experience helps homeowners interested in the program.

“They’re a lot more receptive” when they learn of his participation in the federally funded program. “They see that you really have their interest and you know their situation.”

But he says more homeowners need to look into the program.

“It doesn’t make sense for people not to try and for banks not to participate,” Wayne says. “It can work for so many people.”

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.”

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Homeowner Audrey M. was committed to keeping her home – and finding a full-time position.

She accomplished both with the help of Keep Your Home California.

“It’s my home; I love it,” says Audrey, who bought her Elk Grove house 10 years ago. “I didn’t want to lose it, and I didn’t want to rent it out.”

Audrey applied for Keep Your Home California in March, but was first denied since she cashed-out when she refinanced her home. A few months later, a counselor called Audrey and told her to apply again since some guidelines had changed.

“It happened very fast,” Audrey says of the application process. “It was very clear, very easy to understand.”

Of course, Audrey, who was out of work for 20 months, says her three-decade career in the banking industry likely helped her speed along the application process. But she adds most homeowners could complete the application and tackle the paperwork with little trouble.

After sending some documents and writing a hardship letter, Audrey was approved for the program, allowing her to focus on the all-important job search in one of the hardest-hit industries in the state.

Keep Your Home California made her monthly mortgage payments for five months – July through November. Her sixth, and final, mortgage payment from the state program was never sent.

And Audrey couldn’t have been happier – she found a job in nearby Roseville.

“It’s a great program,” said Audrey, who started her new banking position in November.

Audrey, like many program recipients, touts Keep Your Home California to friends facing difficult times who are also looking for work.

“I wish more people would learn about the program,” she says.

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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.”

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.”

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

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