May 18, 2016
If you are a California homeowner facing foreclosure, a special program designed to assist low to moderate-income homeowners may help you retain your home or provide funds to relocate to new housing. Read on to learn more about the various types of aid available under Keep Your Home California and find out how you can apply for assistance.
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), which was established in 1975, provides financing for low and moderate-income homeowners in California. With approval from the U.S. Treasury Department and funded by the Hardest Hit Fund, CalHFA implemented the Keep Your Home California program to provide assistance to eligible California homeowners who are facing foreclosure.
The CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation (CalHFA MAC) administers the various programs under Keep Your Home California, which include:
You may qualify for one of the Keep Your Home California programs if you meet the all of the below criteria.
Additionally, your existing mortgage and the property securing that mortgage must meet the criteria outlined below.
Mobile homes are eligible if they are permanently affixed to the real property that is secured by the first lien. (Learn more about foreclosure and repossession of mobile homes.)
Find out if you meet the basic eligibility requirements for a Keep Your Home California program by:
Servicer participation in the Keep Your Home California programs is voluntary. (A mortgage servicer is the company that collects monthly mortgage payments from borrowers on behalf of the owner of the loan, as well as tracks account balances, manages the escrow account, handles loss mitigation applications, and pursues foreclosure in the case of defaulted loans.)
Because payments are made directly to the mortgage servicer, the servicer must agree to participate before you can receive assistance from the program. Practically all servicers have signed on for the UMA and MRAP, while participation in the remaining two programs is a bit more sporadic. To find out if your servicer is participating in the program you are interested in, go to http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/participating-servicers or call a Keep Your Home California representative at 888-954-5337.
Since Keep Your Home California is funded by federal dollars, there is no fee to participate and participants typically do not have to repay the assistance received.
The assistance is provided in the form of a non-recourse, non-interest bearing subordinate loan secured by a junior lien that is recorded against the property (except for TAP assistance, which will not be structured as a loan). The junior lien will be forgiven after five years (most programs) from the date assistance was provided. You need to repay the loan only if you sell the home for a profit or refinance and take cash out before the forgiveness date.
To apply for assistance under Keep Your Home California, you can:
In April 2016, Keep Your Home California received an additional $383.3 million in funding, which means its programs will continue until December 31, 2020.