MODESTO — An eight-page special section about California's free mortgage assistance programs is included in today's Bee.
The taxpayer-funded programs are designed to help homeowners who are unemployed and those who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, owe more than their homes are worth or are selling to avoid foreclosure.
Since the Keep Your Home California programs began two years ago, nearly 25,000 homeowners have received assistance.
Stanislaus County homeowners earning up to $74,400 a year may be eligible for help. The income limit is $69,500 in Merced County, $79,550 in San Joaquin County and $80,050 in Tuolumne County.
To qualify, homeowners must be in financial hardship caused by things such as job loss, a cut in pay, divorce or extraordinary medial bills.
Those who meet certain criteria can have their mortgage principal reduced by as much as $100,000.
Unemployed homeowners can receive up to $3,000 per month for nine months for mortgage payments.
Homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments can get up to $25,000 to catch up.
And those who are undergoing a "short sale" or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure can receive up to $5,000.
For more, call Keep Your Home California at (888) 954-5337 or visit www.keepyourhomecalifornia.org.