Program Helps Struggling Homeowners Keep their Homes
August 11, 2016
Despite the improving economic outlook and job growth, many of the state’s homeowners continue to struggle with their mortgage payments. That is where Keep Your Home California comes in, a free mortgage-assistance program, which is helping low and moderate income homeowners avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes.
Keep Your Home California was established under the U.S. Treasury Department’s Hardest Hit Fund. As part of this federally funded program, California was allocated $2.36 billion to help eligible low and moderate income homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures.
Since the program’s inception in February 2011, Keep Your Home California has provided over $1.45 billion in assistance to more than 65,500 California households, each facing a serious financial hardship.
Keep Your Home California has five programs to assist homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments. Each program was designed to address different financial hardships that may affect an individual’s ability to pay their mortgage. Qualifying homeowners can receive up to $100,000 to help them keep their homes.
n Principal Reduction Program: Homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the current value of their home and/or have an unaffordable monthly payment may be eligible for as much as $100,000 in principal reduction, often saving hundreds of dollars every month on their mortgage payments.
n Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program: Out-of-work homeowners who qualified for jobless benefits from the state Employment Development Department can receive as much as $3,000 per month for up to 18 months, or a total of $54,000.
n Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program: Homeowners who are behind two months or more on their payments could receive as much as $54,000 to help them “catch up” on their past-due mortgage payments.
n Transition Assistance Program: Homeowners who have reached an agreement with their mortgage servicer for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or short sale can receive up to $5,000 in relocation assistance.
n Reverse Mortgage Assistance Pilot Program: Homeowners 62 years or older with a reverse mortgage may qualify for as much as $25,000 to reinstate their past-due property expenses (i.e. property taxes and insurance) associated with their reverse mortgage.
Homeowners seeking more information about any of the Keep Your Home California programs should call 888-954-KEEP (5337) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Representatives can answer questions and take applications in virtually any language through a translation service and there is never a fee for any Keep Your Home California services.
There is also a lot of information available at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org, including a twelve question Eligibility Calculator, which will help homeowners determine which programs best fit their situation. A Spanish-language version of the website is also available at www.ConservaTuCasaCalifornia.org.