SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Keep Your Home California has launched an easier-to-use website, allowing homeowners to answer questions online and determine if they are a good candidate for the free mortgage assistance program, and, if so, which program works best for them.
The new website (www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org) also profiles people who have been successfully helped by the $2 billion program, an effort to encourage more homeowners to apply for Keep Your Home California. By simply clicking on a profile snapshot, website visitors can learn how these homeowners saved their homes from foreclosure, thanks to Keep Your Home California.
The federally funded program helps homeowners who have suffered a financial hardship, such as a job loss, a reduction in pay, divorce or significant health care expenses, to make their mortgage payments.
The program, administered by the California Housing Finance Agency, can only help homeowners if they meet income requirements and their mortgage servicers participate in the program. More than 100 servicers are now on board with Keep Your Home California, so most mortgages in California are serviced by a participating Keep Your Home California servicer.
“We’re excited about the new website, which makes it much easier for homeowners to get the information they need and see if they may qualify for the program,” said Claudia Cappio, Executive Director of CalHFA. “We’re also proud to feature some of the faces behind the stories of homeowners who have benefited from the program.”
The biggest change with the new website is an interactive questionnaire homeowners can access by clicking the link labeled: “Find out if you qualify.” Homeowners can answer the questions and check if they may be eligible for free funding – and determine the program best suited for them. In some situations, more than one program could be listed.
“Homeowners can answer the questions and click through the questionnaire in a few minutes and hopefully determine whether they might qualify for free mortgage assistance. The next step is to call the counseling center and begin the process,” Ms. Cappio said. “We know it’s a difficult period for many people, so we want to let homeowners know if they are good candidates as soon as possible, in a matter of minutes.”
The website also includes lists of participating servicers and HUD-approved housing counselors who support the program and can help homeowners in-person. Homeowners can obtain full details of the four programs:
- Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program: Homeowners can receive as much as $3,000 per month in mortgage assistance for up to nine months. Homeowners must be currently receiving or approved to receive jobless benefits from the state Employment Development Department.
- Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program: Homeowners can receive as much as $25,000 in assistance to help them “catch up” on their past-due mortgage payments. Homeowners must have suffered a financial hardship and be able to make their mortgage payments going forward.
- Principal Reduction Program: Homeowners can get as much as $100,000 in principal reduction. To qualify, the homeowner must have suffered a financial hardship and be able to make their mortgage payments in the future. Also, the current market value of the home must be less than what is owed on the mortgage, that is, “underwater.”
- Transition Assistance Program: Homeowners can collect up to $5,000 to cover relocation costs as part of a servicer-approved short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure of their home.
Keep Your Home California has helped almost 22,000 homeowners with more than $260 million in benefit assistance since the program started in February 2011. Funds have also been reserved for another 10,000 homeowners pending final eligibility determination.
Homeowners seeking more information about the program should call 888-954-KEEP (5337) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Keep Your Home California counseling center can answer questions in virtually any language and there is never a charge for services through Keep Your Home California. A Spanish-language version of the website is available at www.ConservaTuCasaCalifornia.org.
- Real Estate