Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Real Estate: State mortgage assistance program readies program as fiscal cliff looms

It’s that time of year – holiday parties and tons of cheer along with a race to fill out applications for mortgage assistance and foreclosure help programs that will end this year.

The sense of urgency is even stronger now with the looming fiscal cliff or automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to take affect Jan. 1 which could put a halt to grants, cut jobs and even threaten federal unemployment benefits.

The directors of the $2 billion federal funded Keep Your Home California program is urging unemployed homeowners, who are receiving unemployment benefits, but need help paying their monthly mortgage to apply for help this month.

Homeowners who apply, get approved and take the required homeowner workshops before the end of the year can still receive up to $3,000 of assistance a month for nine months to help pay their mortgage even if unemployment benefits are cut or run out, program directors say.

The program currently requires unemployed homeowners to be receiving federal benefits.

“Tens of thousands of California homeowners could lose their unemployment benefits in the next few weeks unless Congress and the President agree to further extend federal unemployment benefits, and that will certainly devastate many families,” said Claudia Cappio, executive director of the California Housing Finance Agency which adminsters the Keep Your Home California program.

“We don’t want struggling homeowners to lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the year and then be faced with the very real possibility of losing their homes.”

The unemployment assistance program is Keep Your Home California’s most widely used program to help Fresno homeowners keep their homes out out of foreclosure. As of October, a total of $3.8 million has been given to 384 Fresno County families to help pay their monthly mortgages.

For more information about Keep Your Home California, visit keepyourhomecalifornia.org or call (888) 954-KEEP (5337)

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