Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information & Funding

  1. What is the Keep Your Home California program?

    Keep Your Home California is a federally funded program to help California homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages due to financial hardships. California has received nearly $2 billion in federal funding and is working with housing counselors, servicers and housing advocates to provide assistance that will help prevent avoidable foreclosures and keep Californians in their homes. Full details on the program are available here.

  2. Who is responsible for the Keep Your Home California program guidelines?

    Keep Your Home California is a federally-funded program administered by the CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation (CalHFA MAC) under the guidance of the United States Department of the Treasury. CalHFA MAC is responsible for developing and maintaining program guidelines, policies and procedures.

  3. What is CalHFA MAC?

    CalHFA MAC is CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation, a nonprofit corporation separate from California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). CalHFA MAC Officers are employees of CalHFA and receive no additional compensation for performing these duties. The CalHFA MAC Board of Directors is comprised of CalHFA and other state leaders who are experts in the California housing crisis. CalHFA MAC was created specifically to receive and disburse federal funding to qualifying California homeowners; these funds cannot be commingled with or used for any other state budget purpose.

  4. Do I need to pay a fee to take part in the Keep Your Home California programs?

    No. You will never be asked to pay a fee to participate in the Keep Your Home California programs. In fact, you should beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan. If you suspect fraud connected to Keep Your Home California, please contact our Compliance Manager at 916-326-8686.

  5. Is funding for the Keep Your Home California program limited?

    Yes, funding for Keep Your Home California is limited to approximately $2 billion and the funds must be used by December 31, 2017. There is a benefit cap of $100,000 per qualifying household.

  6. What types of foreclosure prevention programs are available?

    Keep Your Home California consists of four programs to assist California homeowners. Three of these programs are designed to help qualifying homeowners remain in their homes and avoid foreclosure:

    • Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMA)
    • Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program (MRAP)
    • Principal Reduction Program (PRP)
    • The fourth program, the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), provides financial assistance to homeowners who can no longer afford their home and need help transitioning to other housing. The Transition Assistance Program may only be used in conjunction with a servicer-approved short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transaction.

    Detailed descriptions of each of these foreclosure prevention programs are available here.

  7. How long does it take for my home to go into foreclosure?

    Contact your mortgage servicer for information on their foreclosure timeline.

  8. Is Keep Your Home California a loan modification program?

    No. Keep Your Home California is a foreclosure prevention program, not a loan modification program. Keep Your Home California funds can sometimes be combined with a modification that is provided by the homeowner’s servicer, but the Keep Your Home California program in itself is neither a loan modification program nor does it provide loan modifications.

  9. Do Keep Your Home California benefits change my adjustable rate mortgage to a fix rate mortgage?

    No, receiving Keep Your Home California benefits will not change your mortgage from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. If Keep Your Home California benefits are combined with a loan modification your servicer is responsible for providing your new mortgage terms. Contact your mortgage servicer for further information regarding your loan terms.

  10. What is the California Homeowner Bill of Rights?

    The Homeowner Bill of Rights (HOBOR) is designed to guarantee basic fairness and transparency for homeowners in the foreclosure process. Some of the key provisions include:

    •  Restriction on dual track foreclosure: Mortgage servicers are restricted from advancing the foreclosure process if the homeowner is working on securing a loan modification. When a homeowner completes an application for a loan modification, the foreclosure process is essentially paused until the complete application has been fully reviewed.

     

    • Guaranteed single point of contact: Homeowners are guaranteed a single point of contact as they navigate the system and try to keep their homes – a person or team at the bank who knows the facts of their case, has their paperwork and can get them a decision about their application for a loan modification.
  11. Does contacting Keep Your Home California trigger any action through the California Homeowner Bill of Rights?

    No. Homeowners should be aware that contacting Keep Your Home California does not relieve a homeowner’s responsibility to contact their servicer regarding the HOBOR. Contacting Keep Your Home California also does not stop dual tracking, or initiate a single point of contact or halt any foreclosure or short sale process that is already in place. Until a homeowner’s servicer accepts assistance through Keep Your Home California on the homeowner’s behalf, all other processes can continue and will not be stopped simply because a homeowner has applied for Keep Your Home California assistance.

  12. I own my home, but it’s currently uninhabitable, do I still meet guidelines?

    No, in order to meet Keep Your Home California guidelines your home can not be abandoned, vacant, or condemned.

  13. Why does Keep Your Home California run my credit report when I apply for assistance? And, will Keep Your Home California provide me with my FICO score?

    Keep Your Home California uses credit report information to verify current mortgage information and review other public record information. FICO score information is not contained in the credit report that Keep Your Home California receives from the reporting agency. So, Keep Your Home California is unable to provide this information to homeowners.

  14. Does applying with Keep Your Home California affect my credit score?

    No, Keep Your Home California does not report to the credit bureaus.

  15. May I use my own appraisal to determine the value of my home for Keep Your Home California benefit assistance?

    No, Keep Your Home California is responsible to determine the value of your home when it calculates benefit assistance in conjunction with the Principal Reduction Program (PRP).

Eligibility

  1. How is my final eligibility for a Keep Your Home California program determined?

    Final eligibility for benefit assistance can only be determined after you have provided all of the documentation requested and it has been determined that you meet all program guidelines. Even then, the final determination of eligibility lies with your loan servicer who must accept the offer of assistance.

  2. What should I do if I have questions and want to discuss an ineligible decision letter I received from Keep Your Home California?

    Homeowners who have questions and want to discuss an ineligible decision letter should contact Keep Your Home California at 888.559.4225, Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

  3. Who is eligible for the programs?

    General eligibility requirements for these programs include, but are not limited to:

    Homeowner must:

    • Occupy home as their primary residence
    • Meet low and moderate area income limits
    • Have a hardship that is supported by a completed and signed Hardship Affidavit
    • Have adequate income to sustain post-assistance first mortgage payments according to Keep Your Home California and participating servicer guidelines (applies to MRAP and PRP, only)

    Property must:

    • Be located in California
    • Not be abandoned, vacant, or condemned, or uninhabitable.
    • Be a single family, 1-4 unit home (an attached or detached house or a condominium unit): mobile homes are eligible if they are permanently affixed to the real property that is secured by the first lien.

    Mortgage must:

    • Be a first lien mortgage*
    • Have a current unpaid principal balance of $729,750, or less (which includes the interest bearing principal balance and any outstanding non-interest bearing forbearance balance from a previous modification, as applicable)
    • Be delinquent or at risk of imminent default

    *Home equity lines of credit are not eligible for Keep Your Home California benefit consideration even if they are in first lien position.

    For more information on eligibility requirements, visit the program descriptions located here.

  4. Are mobile homes eligible for Keep Your Home California program assistance?

    Yes, some mobile homes are eligible for program assistance. If the mobile home is permanently affixed to the real property that is secured by the first lien, they are eligible for consideration of benefit assistance.

  5. Can a homeowner move out of their home or rent it out while receiving benefit assistance under a Keep Your Home California program?

    No. If during the benefit period of any Keep Your Home California program, a homeowner’s property becomes vacant or non-owner occupied, Keep Your Home California reserves the right to terminate benefit assistance. Exceptions may be made for active duty military personnel who have been deployed or relocated pursuant to military orders.

  6. Do I need to be a California Housing Finance Agency borrower to qualify?

    No. Any California homeowner who meets the eligibility requirements can qualify. Your servicer must sign an agreement with CalHFA MAC to participate in one or more of the Keep Your Home California programs. This agreement with the servicer helps to ensure that funds are properly applied and reported. Servicer participation is voluntary. A list of participating servicers and the programs they offer is available on our Participating Servicers page.

  7. Do I need to be behind on my mortgage payments to be eligible for the Keep Your Home California programs?

    No*, California homeowners do not have to be delinquent on their first mortgage to apply for assistance. Homeowners who are struggling to remain current on their mortgage payments are eligible for consideration if they can demonstrate an inability to continue paying their mortgage payments due to a hardship (often referred to as “imminent default”). Keep Your Home California considers a homeowner to be in “imminent default” if the homeowner has severe negative equity**, has had (or will have) a significant increase in their mortgage payment (due to a rate increase) or has suffered a financial hardship such as unemployment that will make their first mortgage payment unaffordable.

    * Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program requires that the homeowner be behind a minimum of two (2) months with their first mortgage payments to qualify for benefits to “reinstate” the loan.

    **Severe negative equity is only recognized in conjunction with the Principal Reduction Program.

  8. How do I know if I am eligible to apply for one of the Keep Your Home California programs?

    You can find out if you meet the basic eligibility requirements for a Keep Your Home California program by visiting the Eligibility Calculator. In order to determine eligibility and apply for assistance, you must speak with a Keep Your Home California representative by calling 888.954.KEEP (5337) or contact a certified counselor from one of the HUD-approved counseling agencies listed here: http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/counseling.htm.

  9. What type of hardships will be considered?

    If you have suffered a severe reduction in your household income or an increase in expenses beyond your control, these hardships will be taken into consideration. Hardships include: unemployment, underemployment, death in the family, significant medical bills, divorce and severe negative equity, among others. Severe negative equity is considered a hardship indicative of imminent default for the Principal Reduction Program only.

  10. If I qualify for this assistance, do I have to pay it back?

    This assistance will be provided to eligible homeowners as a non-interest bearing junior lien secured against the property. You are not required to make payments on this junior lien. The junior lien will be forgiven after three to five years (depending on program) from the date assistance was provided. However, if you sell, refinance or reverse-mortgage your home (and remove cash equity) prior to the junior lien forgiveness date, you may be required to pay back the assistance from the proceeds of the sale or refinance of your home if there is sufficient net equity. Homeowners who refuse to sign the Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and/or Benefit Award letter will be ineligible to receive Keep Your Home California assistance.

  11. May a homeowner cancel their Keep Your Home California program benefits or withdraw from the program?

    Homeowners who have received program benefits and signed the Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award letter may be eligible to withdraw from the program; however, any existing lien that has been recorded will remain on the property until such time the Keep Your Home California Note has been paid in full or the term of the Keep Your Home California Note has expired, whichever occurs first.

  12. I do not live in the house that secures the mortgage I’d like to modify. Is this mortgage eligible for a Keep Your Home California program?

    No. If you own a house that you use as a vacation home or that is not your primary residence, that home is not eligible for assistance from any of the Keep Your Home California programs. Investment properties are also not eligible for assistance. All eligible properties must be primary, owner-occupied.

  13. I am a renter living in a home that is in default and is at risk of foreclosure. Am I eligible for assistance through Keep Your Home California?

    No. There is no rental assistance provided through Keep Your Home California. Eligible properties must be owner-occupied.

  14. I have a mortgage on a duplex. I live in one unit and rent the other unit. Am I eligible for a Keep Your Home California program?

    Yes. Mortgages on two, three and four-unit properties are eligible as long as you occupy one unit as your primary residence.

  15. What if I have applied for a different modification and it was approved but I turned it down? Can I apply for any assistance?

    Yes, as long as you currently meet the eligibility criteria, you may still be found eligible for assistance through Keep Your Home California. Keep Your Home California is not responsible for determining eligibility for any loan modification program. Only your first mortgage loan servicer can provide approval for a loan modification

  16. My credit union said it could not participate in Keep Your Home California programs because the funds come from TARP. Is this true?

    Keep Your Home California is funded through TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) by way of the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF). However, because Keep Your Home California funds are from HHF and are paid through an Eligible Entity named CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation, there are no restrictions placed on credit unions participating in Keep Your Home California programs.

  17. What actions should a homeowner take if their loan servicer has not applied the Keep Your Home California benefits to their loan in a timely manner?

    Homeowners may contact their loan servicer or Keep Your Home California to discuss and request timely application of program benefits. Most program benefits will be applied by the servicer within 30 days of receipt of program funds. Please be advised that when Keep Your Home California assistance is provided in conjunction with a loan modification, payment application timeframes may take more than 30 days depending upon the date when the servicer receives program funds.

  18. If any property on which I am a vested owner has received assistance through Keep Your Home California, am I still eligible for benefits on my primary residence?

    When a homeowner owns multiple properties or is a co-signer on a property that has previously received benefits through Keep Your Home California, he/she is ineligible for additional benefits on any other property. This applies even in a non-owner occupied/co-signer situation. If the homeowner is currently receiving benefits for one property, he/she will continue to be eligible to receive benefit assistance up to the Household Maximum Benefit limit of $100,000 for the property that received the initial benefit assistance. If a homeowner has been deemed ineligible or incomplete and has not received benefit assistance on any of their properties, he/she may reapply for benefit assistance for a different property.

  19. Can I apply for assistance more than once?

    Yes, it is possible to receive assistance from more than one Keep Your Home California program. For example, a homeowner who previously received Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits may qualify for Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance once they have secured employment. There is an overall benefit cap of $100,000 per household. Qualifying previously for a Keep Your Home California program does not guarantee eligibility for another program. Homeowners must meet program eligibility criteria each time they apply for assistance.

    Each Keep Your Home California program was designed to provide struggling homeowners with a unique type of foreclosure prevention assistance. For more information about each program, visit our Programs page or call 888.954.KEEP (5337) to speak with a Keep Your Home California representative who will explain program requirements and criteria.

  20. What types of income are not acceptable sources when considering my eligibility for program assistance?

    Keep Your Home California does not consider temporary and/or non-verifiable sources of income when determining eligibility for its programs. Temporary income sources include unemployment benefits, short term disability, and certain types of government assistance.

  21. I only have a Home Equity Line of Credit, my first lien mortgage was paid off, do I still meet requirements?

    No, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), or other junior liens, are not eligible for consideration even if they are in first lien position.

  22. What if I am delinquent on my homeowner association dues?

    It is very important that you keep your homeowner association (HOA) dues paid current. If you are delinquent in paying your HOA dues and your HOA files a lien on your property, you are not eligible for Keep Your Home California benefit assistance until you pay your delinquent HOA dues and the HOA lien is released.

The Process

  1. How can I apply for one of the Keep Your Home California programs?

    First, you can determine your general eligibility by using our eligibility tool located at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org.

    You can call Keep Your Home California at 888.954.KEEP (5337) or contact your servicer directly. Another option, for those who prefer to apply for the program in person, is to visit one of the many HUD-approved counseling agencies participating in Keep Your Home California. Use our searchable database to find the agency nearest you.

  2. What information will be required during my Keep Your Home California homeowner counseling session?

    Homeowners who want to know more about the Keep Your Home California counseling session are encouraged to watch the “Welcome to Keep Your Home California” video. This video is a great way to learn more about our program including our counseling session: Click here to watch now: http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/aboutus/

  3. What documents should I have available when calling in for my counseling session?

    Homeowners should have their most recent mortgage statement and wage or income information for all of the homeowners listed on the mortgage.

  4. What documents will I need to provide if I am generally eligible for program assistance?

    The required documentation varies by program. Our representatives will explain which documents are required based on program eligibility. Depending on the program, the following are examples of documentation that are or may be required: pay stubs, EDD payment stub or Bank of America summary, bank statements, Hardship Affidavit, 3rd Party Disclosure, tax forms from previous years, a copy of an investor approved short sale or deed-in-lieu documentation. Keep Your Home California representatives will help you with simple and clear guidance on the document requirements of each program.

  5. How will the funds be disbursed to me?

    Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program, and Principal Reduction Program benefits are disbursed to your first mortgage servicer who is responsible for applying them to your mortgage. Transition Assistance Program funds are distributed directly to the homeowner after confirmation escrow has closed.

  6. How do I know if my servicer is participating in Keep Your Home California? Are all servicers required to participate?

    Servicer participation in the Keep Your Home California program is strictly voluntary. To find out if your servicer is participating, either call your servicer directly, visit our Participating Servicers page, or call Keep Your Home California at 888.954.KEEP (5337) or call your servicer directly.

  7. I called for assistance and found out that my servicer is not participating in the program that I need – what should I do?

    Servicer participation in the Keep Your Home California program is strictly voluntary. To find out why your servicer is not participating in a specific program, call your servicer directly.

    Keep Your Home California continues to work with servicers to make the programs not only beneficial to eligible homeowners but also as compatible with servicer processes as is reasonably possible. In this way, and through ongoing servicer outreach, we encourage servicer participation in each of our programs. As an example of a change to a program that was intended to encourage servicer participation and enhance the benefits to eligible homeowners, the Principal Reduction Program was changed to no longer require the servicer to provide a dollar-for-dollar match of program assistance – this was a significant change that encouraged more servicer participation.

  8. My servicer has not responded to the Keep Your Home California Centralized Processing Center’s request for information and/or provided their approval so that I may receive assistance, what can I do?

    Homeowners are encouraged to contact their servicer to discuss their request for Keep Your Home California assistance. Keep Your Home California works closely with servicers in an effort to obtain program approval on behalf of the homeowner. Keep Your Home California is not responsible for a servicer’s actions, responses or failure to respond. Click here to see how your servicer compares with other servicers who participate in our program: http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/participating-servicers/

  9. I just found out that my loan is being transferred to a new servicer and they do not participate in the specific Keep Your Home California program that I applied for or was found conditionally eligible to receive benefit assistance from. What should I do?

    If you find out that your loan is being transferred to a new servicer and they are not participating in all of the programs that your previous servicer did, we recommend that you contact your new servicer directly and ask them if they have plans to participate in the specific program.

    Please be advised that servicer participation in the Keep Your Home California program is strictly voluntary. Although Keep Your Home California continues to work with servicers to encourage participation in all of our programs, we cannot require that a servicer do so.

  10. My loan was transferred to a new servicer who told me that they will not honor my previous servicer’s agreement to accept Keep Your Home California benefit assistance, what should I do?

    Homeowners who believe that they have received unfair treatment from their servicer may seek relief by contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Go to: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#mortgage to learn more about how to file a complaint

Counseling & Resources

  1. My loan is scheduled for foreclosure soon and I do not qualify for Keep Your Home California. What should I do?

    Contact your servicer immediately and ask to be considered for the federal government’s Making Home Affordable Program or another foreclosure prevention program. Servicers participating in the federal program may not be allowed to proceed with a foreclosure sale until you have been evaluated for it, and, if eligible, offer you a trial modification. Another option is to visit one of the many HUD-approved counseling agencies listed on the Keep Your Home California website. These agencies may help you determine if you qualify for participation in other programs and can recommend a course of action based on your unique facts and circumstances.

  2. I am struggling to make my mortgage payments, but I am having difficulty getting assistance from my servicer. What should I do?

    If you are experiencing difficulty getting foreclosure prevention assistance from your servicer, we recommend that you contact a HUD-certified housing counselor and request their assistance. A searchable list of agencies is available on the Keep Your Home California website. These agencies may help you determine if you qualify for participation in other programs and can recommend a course of action based on your unique facts and circumstances.

  3. Will any of your programs help me with my second or other subordinate mortgages?

    The Keep Your Home California programs address first lien mortgages only. There are options for homeowners who are seeking help with their junior liens / second mortgages. One such option is the Home Affordable Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) which is part of the federal government’s Making Home Affordable program (http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/programs/second-mortgage-help/Pages/default.aspx).

  4. Where can I find additional information about the program?

    The Keep Your Home California web site is updated frequently. You can also register for e-news announcements and receive our newsletter by visiting the web site and clicking on the “envelope” icon on the homepage, or you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook. If you would prefer to call, the Keep Your Home California direct line is 888.954.KEEP(5337).

Program Specific – Principal Reduction Program

  1. What is a loan recast?

    A recast is the process of applying funds to reduce the existing unpaid principal balance of a first mortgage loan. The homeowner’s mortgage is not modified; the loan term and interest rate remain unchanged. However, recasting (re-amortizing) the loan based on the newly reduced principal amount will usually result in a lower monthly payment. Please refer to the hypothetical example below.

    Before recast:

    $250,000 owed; 20 year term, 5.75% rate = $1,755.21 monthly payment, 20 year term

    Receive $100,000 through Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction Program to be applied to outstanding principal balance. Term and rate remain the same.

    After recast:

    $150,000 owed; 20 year term, 5.75% rate = $1,053.13 monthly payment, 20 year term

    Note: As part of the loan recast process, homeowners are required to sign a Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award Letter prior to funding. Homeowners may also be required to sign a loan recast agreement with their servicer.

  2. What is a principal curtailment?

    A principal curtailment is the process of applying funds to reduce the existing unpaid principal balance of a first mortgage loan. The homeowner’s mortgage payment is not modified and the loan term and interest rate remain unchanged. A principal curtailment will only reduce the outstanding principal balance and the number of payments the homeowner is required to pay. Please refer to the hypothetical example below.

    Before principal curtailment:

    $250,000 owed; 5.75% fixed rate = $1,755.21 monthly payment, 20 year term,

    Receive $100,000 through Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction Program to be applied to outstanding principal balance. Mortgage payment and rate remain the same. The outstanding principal balance and remaining term is reduced.

    After principal curtailment:

    $150,000 owed; 5.75% fixed rate, $1,755.21 monthly payment, the loan will pay off in 110 months or 9.2 years due to the reduction in the principal balance.

    Note: As part of the curtailment process, homeowners are required to sign a Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award Letter prior to funding. Homeowners are not required to sign a loan recast or loan modification agreement with their servicer.

  3. If I am found eligible to receive assistance from the Principal Reduction Program, how will these monies be applied to my loan?

    Keep Your Home California guidelines support application of Principal Reduction Program benefits to reduce the principal balance of a first mortgage loan and may also be used to reduce or eliminate an existing non-interest bearing forbearance. Homeowners should understand that servicer and/or investor restrictions may apply. In all cases, the entire amount of the assistance must be applied to the first mortgage.

  4. If a homeowner is actively participating in a Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) with their mortgage loan servicer, are they eligible for additional Principal Reduction Program (PRP) assistance through Keep Your Home California?

    Homeowners who are actively participating in a HAMP may be eligible for Principal Reduction Program assistance from Keep Your Home California. The active HAMP participation period spans from the time a homeowner has made at least one trial payment until five (5) years after their permanent HAMP date.

  5. If I am qualified to receive benefits from the Principal Reduction Program, when will my loan balance be reduced?

    Principal Reduction Program benefits will be disbursed to your first mortgage servicer after you have been determined eligible* and you have signed and returned the Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award letter.

    *If your Principle Reduction Program benefits are provided in conjunction with a loan modification, program benefits will be disbursed to your first mortgage servicer following your successful completion of the loan modification trial payments and after you have signed and returned the Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award letter. For additional information on this requirement, please see Section 8 of the Principal Reduction Program Summary Guidelines.

  6. With the Principal Reduction Program, who is responsible for determining the property value and loan-to-value ratio that is used to calculate benefit assistance?

    Keep Your Home California is solely responsible for determining the property value and loan-to-value ratio that is used to determine eligibility and calculate program benefits. Homeowners and servicers are not required to obtain a property value and/or calculate the loan-to-value ratio to verify program eligibility or benefit amount.

Program Specific – Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program

  1. If my loan is current when I apply for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, will Keep Your Home California keep my loan current and protect my credit?

    Keep Your Home California’s goal is to prevent avoidable foreclosures. The program is not responsible to maintain the credit standing of homeowners who receive assistance. On average, Keep Your Home California will begin making monthly Unemployment Mortgage Assistance payments within 45 days from the homeowner’s request for assistance.

  2. If my loan is delinquent when I apply for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, will Keep Your Home California bring my loan current and keep it current?

    No, if your loan is delinquent when you apply for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, Keep Your Home California will not bring your loan current before making regular monthly payments. Payments are applied by the servicer in accordance with their policies and procedures. Generally, the first payment made by Keep Your Home California will be applied to the oldest payment due and then to each subsequent payment as funds are disbursed.

  3. If my loan is in foreclosure, am I still eligible to receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance?

    Homeowners may be eligible to receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance even if their loan is in foreclosure. Please call Keep Your Home California at 888-954-5337 to see if we can help. Keep Your Home California will not accept an application for any program if the foreclosure Notice of Sale date is less than 21 days from the date the homeowner applies for assistance.

  4. If my California Employment Development Department benefits run out during the time that I am actively receiving Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits, will Keep Your Home California continue to provide me with benefits?

    Yes, Keep Your Home California will continue to pay Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits to homeowners even if a homeowner exhausts their California Employment Development Department benefits during the time of Unemployment Mortgage Assistance. Keep Your Home California will stop benefit payments if the homeowner becomes fully re-employed or if it determines that the home is listed for sale or the homeowner is actively negotiating a Short Sale or Deed in Lieu of foreclosure with their Servicer.

  5. Are homeowners eligible for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits for more than one unemployment incident?

    Homeowners may be eligible for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits more than once provided they meet program eligibility criteria and have not exceeded the 18 month, $54,000 maximum program assistance or the $100,000 overall program cap that is available per household. In order to be determined eligible for a subsequent Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits the homeowner must have a remaining balance in their Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program reserves that is equal to or greater than three full first mortgage payments. We encourage homeowners who previously received Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits to contact Keep Your Home California to see if they are eligible for additional benefit consideration.

  6. I am eligible to receive unemployment benefits from California’s Employment Development Department, but I have not received my first disbursement yet. Am I eligible to receive mortgage assistance from the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program?

    The Employment Development Department application process has a series of steps individuals must complete before they are deemed eligible for unemployment benefits. The Employment Development Department has informed Keep Your Home California that an applicant is not considered fully eligible for benefits until they have actually received their first disbursement.  Because one must be fully eligible for Employment Development Department benefits in order to receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program funds, Keep Your Home California has deemed the first payment as the indicator of Employment Development Department eligibility.

  7. What if I cancel or withdraw my request for Unemployment benefits before the Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award letter documents are signed and returned?

    In order to protect homeowners from the threat of foreclosure, Keep Your Home California may disburse Unemployment benefit payments to a servicer prior to the return of the signed KYHC Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award letter. If a homeowner cancels or withdraws their request for Unemployment assistance after benefit payments have been disbursed, KYHC will take action and discontinue further benefit payments. However, all homeowners who applied for and received benefit assistance from KYHC will receive a 1098-MA tax document from Keep Your Home California as evidence of the benefits paid to their first mortgage servicer. If you think that you received this document in error, please call 888-907-9959.

  8. If a homeowner previously received payment assistance from Keep Your Home California’s Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program, are they eligible to receive additional benefits even if their Employment Development Department benefits have been exhausted?

    Homeowners who previously received payment assistance from Keep Your Home California’s Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program should call 888-954-KEEP to see if they are eligible for additional benefit consideration.

  9. If I become re-employed during the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit period, am I required to immediately notify Keep Your Home California of my re-employed status?

    Yes, if a homeowner becomes fully re-employed while they are receiving Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits they should contact Keep Your Home California in writing. Homeowners may contact Keep Your Home California Funding Department at Funding@KYHCA.org. Benefit assistance will end within 30 days of the date you advise you have become fully re-employed and are no longer receiving EDD benefits. Failure to notify Keep Your Home California of your re-employment status as required will impact your ability to receive additional program assistance.

    In addition, Keep Your Home California works directly with California’s Employment Development Department to determine your employment status. If it is determined that your unemployment benefits were terminated because you became fully re-employed at any time during the eighteen (18) month Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit period, Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit payments will end within 30 days of full re-employment.

  10. If I decide to sell my home at any time during the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit period, am I required to immediately notify Keep Your Home California of this change in circumstances?

    Yes, if a homeowner lists their home for sale during the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit assistance period, they are required to immediately notify the Keep Your Home California program of this change of circumstance. If during the benefit period of the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program it is determined that your home is listed for sale or you are actively negotiating a Short Sale or Deed in Lieu of foreclosure with their Servicer, Keep Your Home California reserves the right to terminate benefit assistance.

  11. I receive unemployment benefits from California’s Employment Development Department to supplement my current income. Can I still receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits?

    Yes, if a homeowner is underemployed and receiving unemployment benefits from California’s Employment Development Department, they may be eligible to receive full Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits from Keep Your Home California.

  12. If a homeowner has temporary and/or part-time employment, are they eligible to receive, or continue to receive, Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit assistance?

    Homeowners with temporary and/or part-time employment are encouraged to contact Keep Your Home California and apply for assistance. Homeowners who attain temporary or part-time employment during their Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit disbursement period should contact Keep Your Home California’s Funding Department at Funding@KYHCA.org.

  13. I received my last unemployment benefit from California’s Employment Development Department about 15 days ago, can I still receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits from Keep Your Home California?

    The homeowner must have received unemployment benefits from California’s Employment Development Department within 30 days of application for Keep Your Home California Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program. If the homeowner is found eligible by Keep Your Home California, the homeowner may receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits for up to 18 months.

  14. I live in California but I receive Unemployment Benefits from another State; am I eligible for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance assistance?

    No, the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program provides assistance to homeowners who are currently receiving California Employment Development Department (EDD) Unemployment benefits, including those whose EDD benefits lapsed within 30 days from the day they applied for assistance.

  15. I receive State Disability Benefits from The State of California Employment Development Department; am I eligible for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance?

    No, the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program provides assistance to homeowners who are currently receiving California Employment Development Department Unemployment benefits, including those whose EDD benefits lapsed within 30 days from the day they applied for assistance.

  16. If my first mortgage monthly payment is set up for bi-monthly installments, will Keep Your Home California make my Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefit payments to my servicer on a bi-monthly basis?

    No, Keep Your Home California will not disburse Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits on a bi-monthly basis. Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits are paid once per month and include the full first mortgage payment amount, which includes (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance and escrowed Homeowner’s Associate Dues, as applicable). Homeowners who are set up for bi-monthly installments should contact their servicer and immediately cancel the bi-monthly payment election in favor of Keep Your Home California’s monthly disbursement process.

  17. If my first mortgage loan is paid in advance, am I still eligible to receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance benefits?

    If a homeowner’s first mortgage loan is paid in advance greater than 90 days, (e.g., the next payment due is paid three (3) months in advance as determined by Keep Your Home California) the homeowner is ineligible to receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance. The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance was developed to prevent avoidable foreclosures. If a loan is paid current as described the property is not at risk of foreclosure.

  18. What will happen if I use up all the unemployment funds provided to me by Keep Your Home California and I still don’t have a job?

    Homeowners are encouraged to explore free HUD foreclosure prevention counseling, which could help you qualify for other programs. Homeowners should also contact their servicer to learn more about other foreclosure prevention options such as the Making Home Affordable Unemployment Program which can provide temporary relief from mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Some of these may include transition to other foreclosure alternatives, such as deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or short sale. Details on this will be covered during your initial telephone counseling session with the Keep Your Home California staff.

Program Specific - Reverse Mortgage Assistance Pilot Program

  1. What is the Keep Your Home California Reverse Mortgage Assistance Pilot Program (RevMAP)?

    Keep Your Home California’s Reverse Mortgage Assistance Pilot Program (RevMAP) is designed to assist eligible senior homeowners who have a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) remain in their homes by providing them with up to $25,000 to bring their property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance and/or homeowners/condo association dues (property expenses) current. RevMAP benefits are paid directly to the loan servicer to reimburse them for advances paid on behalf of the homeowner for their FHA HECM. Senior homeowners may also be eligible to have up to 12 months of future property charges paid on their behalf.

  2. How is my final eligibility for a Keep Your Home California RevMAP program determined?

    Final eligibility for RevMAP benefit assistance can only be determined after you have provided all of the documentation requested and it has been determined that you meet all program guidelines. Even then, the final determination of eligibility lies with your loan servicer who must accept the offer of assistance.

  3. Who is eligible for RevMAP?

    General eligibility requirements for the RevMAP program include, but are not limited to:

    Homeowner(s) must:

    • Occupy the home as their primary residence
    • Meet low and moderate area income limits
    • Have an involuntary hardship that is supported by a completed and signed Hardship Affidavit
    • Have adequate income to sustain required property expense payments, according to participating servicer guidelines, on a go-forward basis
    • Complete the required tax and insurance default counseling (as required by FHA servicing guidelines)

    Property must:

    • Be located in California
    • Not be abandoned, vacant, condemned, or uninhabitable.
    • Be currently subject to an FHA HECM reverse mortgage serviced by a participating HUD-approved HECM servicer or a regulated financial institution
    • Be a single family, 1-4 unit home (an attached or detached house or a condominium unit): mobile homes are eligible if they are permanently affixed to the real property that is secured by the first lien.

    Mortgage must:

    • Be a FHA HECM loan
    • Have a current mortgage balance of $625,500, or less
    • Have delinquent property expenses that have been advanced by their servicer

    *Home equity lines of credit are not eligible for Keep Your Home California benefit consideration even if they are in first lien position.

    For more information on eligibility requirements, visit the program descriptions located here.

  4. What types of involuntary hardship are applicable to RevMAP?

    For RevMAP, typical involuntary hardships that impact a homeowner’s ability to pay their Property Taxes include:

    Exhausted HECM Funds

    • If a homeowner chose the HECM direct annuity payout option, and their annuity is exhausted, then, yes, this is considered a hardship as a loss of income.
    • If a homeowner took a lump sum payout from the HECM and those funds are exhausted, then, the homeowner must have other qualifying hardship to demonstrate why the HECM payout was exhausted or they otherwise have a financial hardship.

    Income Reduction due to:

    • Reduction in base pay
    • Reduction in regular working hours
    • Elimination of Overtime
    • State/govt. employee receiving furlough days
    • Employees medical benefits are reduced or eliminated

    Death – Within Household

    • Death of a homeowner or death of either the primary or secondary wage earner in the household

    Death – Out of Household

    • Death of a family member out of the household.

    Medical (Long-term or Permanent disability)

    • Serious illness of a homeowner/co-homeowner or dependent family member
    • Medical Benefits reduced or eliminated
  5. What is the maximum benefit assistance available to me from RevMAP?

    RevMAP will provide up to $25,000 per household in total benefit assistance to reinstate property expenses paid by your loan servicer on your behalf and help pay for up to 12 months of future property expenses.

  6. What kinds of property expenses are approved for RevMAP?

    RevMAP approved expenses include delinquent property taxes and unpaid homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance and homeowners/condo association dues, as required per the Deed of Trust. Servicers will be reimbursed for advanced expenses that meet RevMAP approved expense criteria.

  7. How do I know if I am eligible to apply for the RevMAP program?

    Homeowners must contact their servicer to initiate the process for RevMAP program consideration. Your servicer will determine if you are in danger of losing your home to foreclosure due to your inability to pay the required property expenses and, if you qualify, initiate the RevMAP process.

  8. If I qualify for RevMAP assistance, do I have to pay it back?

    This assistance will be provided to eligible homeowners as a non-interest bearing loan secured by a junior lien against the property. You are not required to make payments on this loan. The loan will be forgiven, and the lien released, after two years from the date assistance was provided. However, if you sell or refinance the property prior to the loan forgiveness date, you may be required to pay back the assistance from the proceeds of the sale or refinance of your home, providing there is sufficient net equity to do so. Homeowners who refuse to sign the Keep Your Home California Promissory Note, Deed of Trust and/or Benefit Award letter will be ineligible to receive Keep Your Home California assistance.

  9. Can I apply for assistance from Keep Your Home California more than once?

    Yes, if a homeowner’s situation changes after RevMAP benefit assistance has been provided, and they can no longer keep their home, it is possible to receive assistance from Keep Your Home California’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Qualifying previously for a Keep Your Home California program does not guarantee eligibility for another program. Homeowners must meet program eligibility criteria each time they apply for assistance.

    Each Keep Your Home California program was designed to provide struggling homeowners with a unique type of foreclosure prevention assistance. For more information about each program, visit the Programs web page or call 888.954.KEEP (5337) to speak with a Keep Your Home California representative who will explain program requirements and criteria.

  10. What is the start date for the RevMAP two year lien against my property?

    The start date of your two-year lien period is the date of the Note you sign. If you remain a Qualified Homeowner, including occupying the property, at all times prior to and on the second year anniversary of the date of the Note, 100% of the principal amount outstanding under the Note will be reduced and forgiven and the lien released.

  11. Will the RevMAP Promissory Note and Deed of Trust both be forgiven?

    Yes, at the conclusion of two years the Promissory Note will be forgiven and Deed of Trust will be released, however; if, during the two year term of the Promissory Note, your first mortgage loan is refinanced and you receive cash out OR if the property is sold with sufficient net proceeds to pay off any part of the CalHFA MAC loan, the Promissory Note will be required to be paid.

    • If you subsequently sell your home for less than the total amount owed, you will receive additional consideration from Keep Your Home California. Any amount paid to satisfy your Promissory Note as a part of a servicer-approved short sale or Deed in Lieu transaction will be received from the first mortgage lien holder; not you.

Promissory Note & Deed of Trust

  1. If asked, can Keep Your Home California provide a Verification of Mortgage?

    No. Since our benefit transactions do not require periodic payments, we cannot provide a Verification of Mortgage

  2. If I sign the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust, can I still apply for a loan modification with my servicer?

    Yes, if you sign the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust you are still eligible to apply for a loan modification with your first mortgage servicer. In addition, CalHFA MAC will subordinate our Deed of Trust to support a loan modification with your first mortgage servicer, if required.

  3. Can I lease my property after I get Keep Your Home California assistance?

    The purpose of the Keep Your Home California Program is to keep struggling homeowners in their home and prevent avoidable foreclosures. This program is not available for second homes or investment properties. If you lease your home after you receive Keep Your Home California assistance you will be ineligible to receive further assistance and may be responsible to repay the benefit proceeds if you sell your home in the future.  If during the active benefit period of any Keep Your Home California program it is determined that your home is vacant or non-owner occupied, Keep Your Home California reserves the right to terminate benefit assistance.  In the event an active duty military homeowner is deployed or relocated, pursuant to military orders, Keep Your Home California will waive the “occupancy” requirement and the “Acceleration of Payment” clause, as pertains to occupancy, contained in the Note and the “Prohibition on Transfers of Interest” clause in the Deed of Trust, as pertains to the homeowner’s ability to rent or lease the home during the period of their relocation. The homeowner will be required to provide updated residence/location information and must provide a copy of the orders requiring his/her relocation.

  4. What is the start date of the five year lien against my property?

    Keep Your Home California  uses the Clear to Fund date as the start date for the Keep Your Home California lien. The Clear to Fund date is the date of final Keep Your Home California approval. This will always pre-date the servicer’s application of Keep Your Home California funds to your loan. If you wish to know your Clear to Fund date, you may contact Keep Your Home California at 888.954.5337 Monday-Friday from 7 am to 7 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.

  5. Does Keep Your Home California report the loan to the credit bureaus?

    No, Keep Your Home California does not report benefit assistance loan activity to any credit bureau agency.

  6. Does accepting Keep Your Home California benefit assistance change my mortgage servicer?

    No, receiving benefit assistance from Keep Your Home California will not change your first mortgage servicer.

  7. Will the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust both be forgiven?

    Yes at the conclusion of five years* the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust will be released and forgiven, however;

    • If, during the five year term of the Promissory Note, your first mortgage loan is refinanced and you receive cash out OR if the property is sold with sufficient net proceeds to pay off the CalHFA MAC loan, the Promissory Note will be required to be paid.
    • If you subsequently sell your home for less than the total amount owed, you will receive additional consideration from Keep Your Home California. Any amount paid to satisfy your Promissory Note as a part of a servicer-approved short sale or Deed in Lieu transaction will be received from the first mortgage lien holder; not you.
  8. What does Keep Your Home California consider “cash out” from a refinance or a sale?

    Keep Your Home California  defines “cash out” as, when you receive more than 1% of your new loan amount in cash after you refinance. Also, if you receive sufficient cash after the sale of your property to pay off the Keep Your Home California lien, this would be considered cash out. If you finance the costs associated with a first mortgage refinance, Keep Your Home California would not consider these refinanced expenses as cash out for purposes of loan repayment.

  9. Can I fax the signed Promissory Note and Deed of Trust?

    No, faxed documents are not eligible for benefit consideration. You are required to provide Keep Your Home California with original signed copies of your Promissory Note and Deed of Trust as instructed.

  10. If signed and notarized Promissory Note and Deed of Trust are not returned, will benefits be cancelled?

    Yes, if you sign the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust you are still eligible to apply for a loan modification with your first mortgage servicer. In addition, Keep Your Home California will subordinate our Deed of Trust to support a loan modification with your first mortgage servicer, if required. Keep Your Home California does not charge a fee for this subordination.

1098-MA Tax Statement

  1. I didn’t receive or I lost my 1098-MA statement from Keep Your Home California, can I get another one?

    Yes. For a duplicate copy of your 1098-MA please call the Keep Your Home California processing center at 888-907-9959.

  2. I prepare my own taxes each year. Where can I obtain information on the 1098-MA statement?

    You can find more information regarding 1098-MA statements at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1098ma.pdf or call the IRS toll free at 1-866-455-7438.

  3. Do I have to pay taxes on the benefit assistance that I received from Keep Your Home California?

    Keep Your Home California does not provide tax advice to homeowners regarding our benefit assistance. Please consult a tax professional regarding tax liability of the benefit assistance provided by Keep Your Home California.

    Special Note: Homeowners may obtain additional information from the IRS regarding their determination of tax liability for Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Hardest Hit Fund programs.

    Go to: http://www.hhfri.org/uploadedFiles/HHFRI/Home_Page/IRS%20HHFRI.pdf to read an IRS publication regarding tax liability for our program, or

    Go to: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch23.html to obtain information directly from the IRS website.

  4. I received a 1098-MA tax statement from Keep Your Home California. What is this document?

    The 1098-MA provides you and the IRS with the dollar amount of financial assistance your loan servicer received on your behalf from the Keep Your Home California program in the current tax year.

  5. What should I do if I think the amount reported on the 1098-MA is incorrect?

    If you believe the dollar amount of assistance reported on the 1098-MA is incorrect; please call the Keep Your Home California program at 888-907-9959.

Payoffs, Subordinations and Short Sale Demand Statements

  1. What should I do if I need a payoff statement, subordination agreement or short sale demand statement for my Keep Your Home California lien?

    If you need a payoff statement, subordination agreement or short sale demand statement please instruct your real estate agent or escrow officer to go to our For Title Companies page to obtain helpful information about how to request any of these documents.

  2. Will Keep Your Home California subordinate their lien so that I may refinance my property?

    Yes. Keep Your Home California will subordinate our lien to ensure eligible homeowners are able to refinance their property including with a Making Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) loan. This would apply to a situation where the homeowner has the opportunity for a rate or term refinance. Please instruct your real estate agent or escrow officer to go to our For Title Companies page. This page provides helpful information about how to request subordination for any refinanced transaction. Please be advised that Keep Your Home California will not subordinate our lien if the refinance transaction includes any cash out.