KEEP YOUR HOME CALIFORNIA PROGRAM | F.A.Q


Keep Your Home California | Unemployed? | Mortgage Assistance Up To 18+ Months | See If You Qualify

What is the Keep Your Home California program?

Keep Your Home California is a federally funded program to help California homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages due to financial hardships. California has received over $2 billion in federal funding and is working with housing counselors, servicers and housing advocates to provide assistance that will help prevent avoidable foreclosures and keep Californians in their homes.

Who is responsible for the Keep Your Home California program guidelines?

Keep Your Home California is a federally-funded program administered by the CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation (CalHFA MAC) under the guidance of the United States Department of the Treasury. CalHFA MAC is responsible for developing and maintaining program guidelines, policies and procedures.

What is CalHFA MAC?

CalHFA MAC is CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation, a nonprofit corporation separate from California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). CalHFA MAC Officers are employees of CalHFA and receive no additional compensation for performing these duties. The CalHFA MAC Board of Directors is comprised of CalHFA and other state leaders who are experts in the California housing crisis. CalHFA MAC was created specifically to receive and disburse federal funding to qualifying California homeowners; these funds cannot be commingled with or used for any other state budget purpose.

Do I need to pay a fee to take part in the Keep Your Home California programs?

No. You will never be asked to pay a fee to participate in the Keep Your Home California programs. In fact, you should beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan.

Is funding for the Keep Your Home California program limited?

Yes, funding for Keep Your Home California is limited to approximately $2 billion and the funds must be used by December 31, 2021. There is a benefit cap of $100,000 per qualifying household.

My first mortgage is an interest-only loan. Am I eligible to receive assistance from any of the Keep Your Home California programs?

Yes, first mortgage interest-only loans are eligible for assistance from the following Keep Your Home California programs – Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, Principal Reduction, Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance and Transition Assistance.

Does applying with Keep Your Home California affect my credit score?

No, Keep Your Home California does not report to the credit bureaus.

Will Keep Your Home California pay my property taxes and/or insurance payments even if those amounts are not included in the total monthly first lien payment that I am responsible to pay my servicer?

No, Keep Your Home California will not pay property insurance and/or property taxes unless they are included in the total monthly first lien payment you are required to pay your servicer. However, Keep Your Home California will pay delinquent insurance and/or property taxes provided these amounts have been advanced (paid) by the first mortgage servicer.
When a Homeowner is approved to receive Unemployment Mortgage Assistance (UMA) payments, Keep Your Home California will:

  • Pay ONLY the amount of the Homeowner’s contractual first mortgage payment.
    • If the contractual first mortgage payment INCLUDES property taxes and/or insurance, these amounts will be included in the UMA payment (principal, interest, tax, insurance, as applicable) that is sent directly to the first mortgage servicer.
    • If the contractual first mortgage payment DOES NOT include property taxes and/or insurance, these amounts will not be included in the UMA payment that is sent directly to the first mortgage servicer.

Who is eligible for the programs?

General eligibility requirements for these programs include, but are not limited to:
Homeowner must:

  • Occupy home as their primary residence
  • Meet low and moderate area income limits
  • Have a hardship that is supported by a completed and signed Hardship Affidavit
  • Have adequate income to sustain post-assistance first mortgage payments according to Keep Your Home California and participating servicer guidelines (to Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program (MRAP) and Principal Reduction Program (PRP), only)
Property must:

  • Be located in California
  • Not be abandoned, vacant, or condemned, or uninhabitable.
  • Be a single family, 1-4 unit home (an attached or detached house or a condominium unit): mobile homes are eligible if they are permanently affixed to the real property that is secured by the first lien.
Mortgage must:

  • Be a first lien mortgage*
  • Have a current unpaid principal balance of $729,750, or less (which includes the interest bearing principal balance and any outstanding non-interest bearing forbearance balance from a previous modification, as applicable)
  • Be delinquent or at risk of imminent default
*Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) are not eligible for Keep Your Home California benefit consideration even if they are in first lien position.

Do I need to be behind on my mortgage payments to be eligible for the Keep Your Home California programs?

No*, California homeowners do not have to be delinquent on their first mortgage to apply for assistance. Homeowners who are struggling to remain current on their mortgage payments are eligible for consideration if they can demonstrate an involuntary hardship that will make their payment unaffordable (often referred to as “imminent default”). Keep Your Home California considers a homeowner to be in “imminent default” if the homeowner has severe negative equity**, has had (or will have) a significant increase in their mortgage payment (due to a rate increase) or has suffered a financial hardship such as unemployment or a severe loss of income.

* Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program requires that the homeowner be behind a minimum of two (2) months with their first mortgage payments to qualify for benefits to “reinstate” the loan.

**Severe negative equity, defined as a first mortgage loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratio that is 115% or greater, is only recognized in conjunction with the Principal Reduction Program.

I have a mortgage on a duplex. I live in one unit and rent the other unit. Am I eligible for a Keep Your Home California program?

Yes. Mortgages on two, three and four-unit properties are eligible as long as you occupy one unit as your primary residence.

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