General Information & Funding
No. Keep Your Home California is a foreclosure prevention program, not a loan modification program. KYHC funds can sometimes be coupled with a modification from a homeowner’s servicer, but the KYHC program in itself is not a loan modification program.
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.
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 KYHC 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 KYHC on the homeowner’s behalf, all other processes can continue and will not be stopped simply because a homeowner has applied for KYHC assistance.
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.
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, 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.
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.
Yes, funding for KYHC 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.
CalHFA MAC is CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation, a nonprofit corporation separate from 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.
A recast is the process of applying funds to reduce the existing unpaid principal balance of a mortgage loan. The homeowner’s mortgage is not modified; the loan term and interest rate remain unchanged. However, recasting the loan based on the newly reduced principal amount will usually result in a lower monthly payment. Please refer to the hypothetical example below.
$250,000 owed; 20 year term, 5.75% rate = $1,755.21 monthly payment
Receive $100,000 through KYHC Principal Reduction Program to be applied to outstanding principal balance. Term and rate remain the same.
$150,000 owed; 20 year term, 5.75% rate = $1,053.13 monthly payment
No. Any California homeowner who meets the eligibility requirements can qualify. Your servicer must sign an agreement with CalHFA MAC to participate in each 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.
If my loan is current when I apply for UMA assistance, 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 UMA payments within 45 days from the homeowner’s requests for assistance.
If my loan is delinquent when I apply for UMA assistance, will Keep Your Home California bring my loan current and keep it current?
No, if your loan is delinquent when you apply for UMA assistance, Keep Your Home California will not bring your loan current before making regular monthly payments.
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 the KYHC Program at 888.559.4225, Monday-Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
General eligibility requirements for these programs include, but are not limited to:
- Occupy home as their primary residence
- Meet low and moderate area income limits
- Have a financial hardship that is supported by a completed and signed Hardship Affidavit
- Have adequate income to sustain modified first mortgage payments according to participating servicer guidelines (applies to MRAP and PRP, only)
*Home equity lines of credit are not eligible for KYHC benefit consideration even if they are in first lien position.
- Be located in California
- Not be abandoned, vacant, or condemned
- 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.
- Be a *first lien mortgage
- Have a current unpaid principal balance of $729,750, or less
- Be delinquent or in imminent default
*Home equity lines of credit are not eligible for KYHC benefit consideration even if they are in first lien position.
For more information on eligibility requirements, visit the program descriptions located here: KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org/programs.htm.
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 financial hardship (often referred to as “imminent default”). For example, “imminent default” may be caused by a homeowner that 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.
* MRAP 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.
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.
If you have suffered a severe reduction in your household income or are facing 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, and divorce, among others.
This assistance will be provided to eligible homeowners as a junior lien secured against their 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 or refinance 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 KYHC Note, Deed of Trust and/or Benefit Award letter will be ineligible to receive KYHC assistance.
Homeowners who have received program benefits and signed the KYHC 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 as the property is sold or transferred.
Yes, it is possible to receive assistance from more than one Keep Your Home California program. For example, a homeowner who previously received UMA benefits may qualify for MRAP once they have secured employment. There is an overall benefit cap of $100,000 per household. Qualifying previously for a KYHC 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 qualify for assistance through Keep Your Home California. Keep Your Home California is not responsible to determine eligibility for any loan modification program. Only your first mortgage loan servicer can provide approval for a loan modification.
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 are generally ineligible for PRP assistance from Keep Your Home California. The active participation period spans from the time a homeowner has made at least one trial payment until five (5) years after their permanent HAMP date.
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.
Are homeowners eligible for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance (UMA) benefits for more than one unemployment incident?
Homeowners may be eligible for UMA benefits more than once provided they meet program eligibility criteria, have not exceeded the $36,000 maximum program assistance or the $100,000 overall program cap that is available per household. In order to be determined eligible for a subsequent UMA benefit the homeowner must have a remaining balance in their UMA program reserves that is equal to or greater than three full first mortgage payments.
My loan is serviced through Bank of America and I’m interested in the Principal Reduction Program. Is Bank of America participating in principal reduction?
Bank of America homeowners who are interested in participating in the Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction Program, must apply directly with Bank of America for a Home Affordable Modification. Homeowners who meet the requirements for a Home Affordable Modification will be sent a financial information packet from Bank of America. This packet will contain important information about the Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction Program including how this program can be combined with a Home Affordable Modification to provide you with the most affordable payment available per investor guidelines.
If you are interested in applying for a Bank of America Home Affordable Modification that includes Keep Your Home California Principal Reduction assistance, please call 1.800.846.2222.
If you would like an opportunity to meet face-to-face with a Bank of America representative, please click here for a list of Bank of America Customer Assistance Centers in California.
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.
What actions should a homeowner take if their loan servicer has not applied the KYHC benefits to their loan in a timely manner?
Homeowners may contact their loan servicer or KYHC 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 KYHC 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.
First, you can determine your general eligibility by using our eligibility tool.
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.
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).
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 is a significant change that should encourage more servicer participation.
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 is or may be required: pay stubs, EDD payment stub, 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 are available to help you with simple and clear guidance on the document requirements of each program.
If I am qualified to receive benefits from the Principal Reduction Program (PRP), when will my loan balance be reduced?
PRP benefits will be disbursed to your first mortgage servicer after you have been determined eligible* and you have signed a Keep Your Home California Note, Deed of Trust and Benefit Award letter.
*If your PRP 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 you have signed a 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.
UMA, MRAP, and PRP benefits are disbursed to your first mortgage servicer who is responsible for applying them to your mortgage. Transition Assistance Program funds may be distributed directly to the servicer or the homeowner based on servicer participation.
Why must I wait until I receive my first unemployment payment from EDD before I am able to apply for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program?
The EDD application process has a series of steps individuals must complete before they are deemed eligible for unemployment benefits. The final step of that process is for an individual to complete their weekly certification form, which occurs during their first compensable week. Prior to that actual compensation, an applicant has only been deemed partially eligible for EDD benefits, and consequently, only partially eligible for benefits through the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program.
If my loan is current when I apply for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program, will KYHC keep my loan current and protect my credit?
KYHC’s goal is to prevent avoidable foreclosures. The program is not responsible to maintain the credit standing of homeowners who receive assistance. On average, KYHC will begin making monthly Unemployment Mortgage Assistance payments within 45 days from the homeowner’s request for assistance.
If my loan is delinquent when I apply for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, will KYHC bring my loan current and keep it current?
No. If your loan is delinquent when you apply for Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, KYHC will not bring your loan current before making regular monthly payments.
I just found out that my loan is being transferred to a new servicer and they do not participate in the specific KYHC 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.
Promissory Note & Deed of Trust
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.
The purpose of the KYHC 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 KYHC 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.
KYHC uses the Clear to Fund date as the start date for the KYHC lien. The Clear to Fund date is the date of final KYHC approval. This will always pre-date the servicer’s application of KYHC funds to your loan. If you wish to know your Clear to Fund date, you may contact KYHC at 888.954.5337 Monday-Friday from 7 am to 7 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.
No, KYHC does not report benefit assistance loan activity to any credit bureau agency.
No, receiving benefit assistance from KYHC will not change your first mortgage servicer.
Yes at the conclusion of three or five years* the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust will be released and forgiven, however;
- If, during the three or 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 KYHC. 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.
* Unemployment and reinstatement program liens are forgivable after three years. The principal reduction program lien is forgivable after five years.
KYHC 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 KYHC lien, this would be considered cash out. If you finance the costs associated with a first mortgage refinance, KYHC would not consider these refinanced expenses as cash out for purposes of loan repayment.
No, faxed documents are not eligible for benefit consideration. You are required to provide KYHC with original signed copies of your Promissory Note and Deed of Trust as instructed.
If signed and notarized Promissory Note and Deed of Trust are not returned, will benefits be cancelled?
Yes. If signed and notarized copies of the Promissory Note and Deed of Trust are not returned as required, KYHC benefits will be cancelled. In addition, if you fail to return these required documents, you may be ineligible for further benefit consideration from any KYHC program. Please be advised that if program benefits were sent to your first mortgage servicer prior to the return of these documents, you are still eligible to receive a 1098-MA document from KYHC. This form includes all amounts paid to your servicer on your behalf.
What if I cancel or withdraw my request for Unemployment benefits before the KYHC 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.
No. Since our benefit transactions do not require periodic payments, we cannot provide a Verification of Mortgage
2012 1098-MA Tax Statement
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.
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.
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.
No. They are two separate documents.
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.
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.
In order to prepare my personal income taxes, I need CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation’s tax ID number. What is the number?
CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation’s tax ID number is 27-2860498.
Counseling & Resources
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.
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.
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). Another option is made available through Community Housing Works, a nonprofit counseling agency participating in our Local Innovation Fund (http://chworks.org/chw-lending-home/community-2nd-mortgage-principle-reduction-program).
The Keep Your Home California web site is updated frequently. You can also register for e-news announcements by visiting the web site and clicking on “email updates” 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).
Payoffs, Subordinations and Short Sale Demand Statements
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.
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.