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Solving your family’s mortgage struggle: Keep Your Home California

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If you are one of the many homeowners here in the city of Vista who continue to deal with joblessness, perhaps just losing unemployment insurance, or being severely underwater with the mortgage, check out a California program to see if you qualify with your hardships for mortgage-assistance.

The program, Keep Your Home California, has helped almost 33,000 homeowners, according to the website.

Keep Your Home California is described as "a $2 billion, federally funded program" on the website, and is offering four programs to homeowners. Three of the programs are designed to help with mortgage payments, but the fourth, called the "Transition Assistance Program," is intended to help "homeowners with as much as $5,000 to relocate to new housing after they complete a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure."

So how does this work?

Maybe you remember "TARP," the Troubled Asset Relief Program? Keep Your Home California is funded through TARP and via something called the "Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)" and are paid through an Eligible Entity named CalHFA Mortgage Assistance Corporation.

'It eases the stress of making the mortgage payment'

Testimonials offered on the website include this one about a daughter who owned a home with her parents:

One woman who received help for her parents actually had purchased a home bought a house with her parents but later became engaged and moved away. Then her father lost his longtime job and found the program while helping her dad with the unemployment process. She is quoted:

“I had to provide a lot of information. It was time-consuming, but it’s worth it. Once I responded, it was an easy process. They were really helpful and willing to work with me.”

The free mortgage assistance program will pay "as much as $3,000 per month for up to 12 months for homeowners who are collecting jobless benefits from the EDD."

Only a few weeks after applying, Iris and her parents were approved for the state-funded program.

“It eases the stress of making the mortgage payment. But it’s only a short-term solution, we’re still upside down.”

So, Iris will consider applying for a second program through Keep Your Home California, for a more sustainable solution to her family’s mortgage struggles.

In the meantime, the monthly mortgage payment is covered and her father, a longtime farm laborer, has one less worry.

“Now, he has more time to look for a job,” Iris said.

One local homeowner, David, described as a former director of sales and senior associate for an audio visual company in San Diego says "it’s a horrible … terrible feeling” to face the possibility of losing your home.

“I think everybody is trying to figure out what is next” with the economy and the housing market, he adds. “When there is a happy ending, this program will be what saved me.”

Visit the website or you can call for help: (888) 954-5337.

They are available to talk MON-FRI 7am-7pm, or SAT 9am-3pm.

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