Transition Assistance Program offers $5,000 to families looking for a fresh start

Note: This is the final blog in a four-week series that details the four programs available from Keep Your Home California.

Sometimes even best efforts fail.

When a cash-strapped homeowner makes the decision that they can no longer meet the demands of being a homeowner, our program offers help to transition to a better housing situation.

The Transition Assistance Program offers as much as $5,000 to help low- to moderate-income homeowners move to another form of housing – enough money for covering moving costs, a security deposit and rent for many families.

The program was established to be used in conjunction with a mortgage servicer-approved short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure to help homeowners with a smooth as possible transition to new housing, whether it’s an apartment or moving in with relatives.

Of course, there are some requirements, most notably the income limit – 120% of the area’s median income as defined by the California State Department of Housing and Community Development. By the way, the income limits are higher than most homeowners think, from $68,650 in several counties to as much as $121,900 in San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

Homeowners also must occupy and maintain the home until it’s sold or returned to the lender as negotiated. You know, cut the lawn, keep the house clean and leave appliances and fixtures in place on moving day. In return, you could get as much as $5,000. Rather easy, huh?

Now, mortgage servicers – basically the lender that collects the mortgage payments – must participate in the Transition Assistance Program. More than 20 mortgage servicers, including GMAC and U.S. Bank, participate in the program And more mortgage servicers join Keep Your Home California every few weeks, with some opting to participate in the Transition Assistance Program.

So, if you are against the ropes and a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is the most viable option, check if you qualify and if your mortgage servicer participates in the Transition Assistance Program. You could get $5,000 to help you with a fresh start in a new residence.

But don’t delay. The program has $2.3 million available, with a goal of helping about 450 to 500 homeowners. Once those dollars are gone, the program ends.

If you would like more information about Keep Your Home California, the Transition Assistance Program or the other three programs, check ( in Spanish) or call 888-954-5337 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

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