Southern California homeowners Richard and Cynthia C. applied for a federal program seeking financial help for their mortgage payments last spring.
But the couple were denied because their combined income failed to meet minimum income requirements. They were devastated.
“We thought ‘what are we going to do?’” says Richard, who was laid off from his job in March 2010. His wife had also recently lost her job with a temporary agency.
Then, the Claremont couple came across Keep Your Home California while watching the local PBS station. But they were skeptical. An aunt had spent thousands of dollars for mortgage assistance with little success.
“For every good program, there are 10 bad programs” claiming to help homeowners with mortgage payments, Cynthia says.
“We started checking it out, and found that it was on the up and up,” Richard says of the state-run program with $2 billion in federal funding.
A brief phone call, followed by a longer counseling session and then the gathering and sending of documents paved the way for the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance program – and some security for the couple. Keep Your Home California covers their mortgage payments for six months, and now up to nine months with new expanded eligibility requirements
“Thank God,” says Richard, who adds from the first phone call to final approval took about four weeks. “It’s hard for us to find a job. It’s just been so difficult. It’s been a godsend.”
Now, Cynthia and Richard, who have a daughter attending college, tell family members and friends about Keep Your home California. ‘We’re mentioning the program all of the time,” she says.
They want other hard-hit homeowners to apply for and take advantage of the program that offers the opportunity to look for work without worrying about mortgage payments.
“It gives you peace of mind,” Richard says of Keep Your Home California. “This uplifted us.”