Keep Your Home California expands Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program to help more homeowners – and for a longer period

Keep Your Home California officials are always looking to improve the free mortgage-assistance program for hard-hit homeowners. The program has undergone many changes since starting in February 2011. This is the second of four posts that detail many of these program changes – and how they help homeowners.

Much has changed with the economy and job market during the past three years.

And Keep Your Home California has expanded the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program to help more homeowners and keep in step with the times.

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Certainly, the economy has improved. About 750,000 people have found jobs since summer 2011, the equivalent of almost everyone in San Francisco. And the jobless rate has dropped to 8.1%, the lowest level since September 2008, according to the state Employment Development Department (EDD).

But there are still more than 1.5 million Californians looking for work – equivalent to everyone in Fresno, Long Beach and Sacramento, combined. About one of every three of these folks has been jobless for at least six months, and one of every four for more than a year.

In short, fewer homeowners are jobless, but those who are face a longer period looking for work.

Keep Your Home California’s decision to change the program is in response to the still-extraordinary need, expanding the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program from six months to nine months – and eventually to 12 months. Financially strapped homeowners who have collected jobless benefits from the EDD within the previous 30 days are eligible for as much as $3,000 per month for up to one year.

The free program allows out-of-work homeowners to look for a job without worrying about the mortgage. EDD has been a big help with the effort, sending flyers about the free mortgage-assistance program to more than 500,000 out-of-work Californians during the past four months.

So far, more than 27,300 homeowners have been approved for the program, with about $320 million issued, according to the fourth-quarter 2013 report, the most recent available. The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program is the most used of the four Keep Your Home California programs.

As with each of the four programs, there are eligibility requirements, including meeting the county-by-county income limits. Your mortgage servicer must also participate in the program.

All of the 182 mortgage servicers enrolled in Keep Your Home California participate in the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase and Citi. A complete list of Participating Servicers is available at http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/participating-servicers/.

You can check all of the details for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program at http://keepyourhomecalifornia.org/programs/unemployment-mortgage-assistance/.

If you have additional questions, would like more information or want to apply for the program, call 888-954-KEEP (5337) or visit www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org  (Spanish speakers should visit www.conservatucasacalifornia.org).

The counseling center is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.  Translators are available, so counseling sessions can be conducted in virtually any language.

Image courtesy of cooldesign / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

 

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