Four questions could open the door to thousands of dollars in mortgage assistance

'268/365 - Default State' photo (c) 2009, Helga Weber - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Four easy-to-answer questions will determine if Keep Your Home California could work for you. And we’re not talking about fingers-and-toes counting, mind-numbing questions.

Do you own and occupy your home as your primary residence? Is your home in California? Is the current amount you owe on your first mortgage equal to or less than $729,750? Check the complete list – and the fourth and final question — at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org/qualify.aspx.

Rather easy questions, huh? But how you answer could determine if you are eligible for Keep Your Home California, a state-run program with $2 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund.

Now, the four questions are just the beginning of the process, but a huge step. After answering the questions and getting the thumbs up, check if your mortgage servicer – such as Bank of America, Chase Bank or Wells Fargo — is participating in the program at http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/participating.htm.

We can’t stress this enough, your mortgage servicer must be on the list. But if your mortgage servicer isn’t participating, don’t be discouraged, just check back in a few weeks. We add mortgage servicers to the program almost every week. We have more than 50 participating servicers that cover about 90% of the mortgages held by California homeowners, a dramatic increase from when the program launched in February.

If your mortgage servicer is on the list, then we urge you to call the counseling center at 888-954-5337. A counselor will discuss the available mortgage assistance programs and learn more about your situation. Each homeowner and situation is different. In fact, some homeowners could be eligible for multiple programs and more assistance.

You can learn more about Keep Your Home California and the four programs at http://www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org/. We also encourage you to check the frequently asked questions page, which offers more details on Keep Your Home California.

Of course, just as when you bought your home, there is some paperwork involved, including financial information, with the program. But a representative will go over the details and the documents required.

Answering the four questions is just the beginning, but it opens the door to Keep Your Home California – and possibly save your home.

And you are not alone. More than 11,000 homeowners have benefited or are in the pipeline to receive funds from the state-run program, which will help about 90,000 families during the next several years.

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