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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.”

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.

Karen-K

Volunteer who helps others achieve the American Dream turns to state program to keep her own home.

Karen K. has a unique story.

She’s been a volunteer for more than 10 years with Habitat for Humanity, and helped build homes while she worked full-time at a marketing research company.

“I view homeownership as important,” Karen says. “I want to give back and help others who want to own their own home.”

Karen never thought she would be the one reaching out for help. After working in the greater Los Angeles area for more than 20 years, her position was eliminated.

She heard about the Keep Your Home California program through a financial strategies class offered through her career counseling service. She visited the Keep Your Home California website, but didn’t think she would qualify for the free mortgage-assistance program.

A few months passed, and her career coach encouraged her to look into the program one more time and asked, “Did you talk to a live person?”

Karen said, “No.” So, the single homeowner called the toll-free Keep Your Home California phone number and, to her surprise, she qualified for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program.

Thanks to the program, Karen is still living in the condo she bought 12 years ago.

“Instead of eating away at my savings, the program helped me financially,” Karen says. “It was a blessing.”

She wants to encourage others to apply for the state-managed program.

“It gives people a peace of mind and its one less thing you have to worry about so you can focus on your job search,” she says.

Although Karen is still searching for a full-time position, she’s hoping to stay in the LA area.

“It was really easy to apply. Homeowners should definitely give it a shot and talk to a person to take you through the process,” says Karen, who continues to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

“I’m a huge volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and if a program can help me save my home, I want to do the same for someone else.”

Testimonials

Debra says homeowners shouldn’t delay and apply for the program as soon as possible.

Debra T. has a bit of advice for cash-strapped homeowners considering the Keep Your Home California program – don’t delay and call today.

“I kept putting it off,” says Debra, who kept hearing Keep Your Home California commercials on radio station KFRG (better-known as “KFROG” in Southern California). “I didn’t want to hear the word ‘no.’ ”

Eventually, Debra applied for the federally funded, state-run mortgage program early last year and was approved in May 2012. She was approved for $100,000 in principal reduction, the maximum under the Principal Reduction Program.

A servicer-approved loan modification coupled with the Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction Program dropped her principal from $280,000 to $138,000.

“I was so ecstatic.” says Debra, who lives in Bloomington in San Bernardino County. “I’m so thankful that this type of program was available.”

Debra definitely fits the requirements for help from the $2 billion program, established under the Hardest Hit Fund. Her husband died after a long battle with cancer in 2008. He didn’t have life insurance and even with health insurance, the medical bills took their financial toll.

“My biggest fear was losing the house,” says Debra, who has three children at home and her mother living with them as well. “It’s a small house and it’s a little cramped, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

She suspects her experience with her mortgage servicer is probably similar to many other homeowners, who are struggling to keep their homes.

“It’s really frustrating to a lot of homeowners,” she says. “I’m sure a lot of homeowners lost their homes because servicers dragged their feet or they were just overwhelmed (with the number of homes and homeowners in trouble).”

But her experience with Keep Your Home California was much better.

“I was really pleased with the response from Keep Your Home California,” Debra says. Her counselor “was very helpful.”

So, Debra strongly encourages homeowners to learn more about the program and apply for the free mortgage help as soon as possible.

“I recommend the program to anyone who is struggling,” she says. “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

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.”

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

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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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