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Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014 1:54 pm

How does the end to Federal Unemployment Long Term Extension affect You?

News that the federal government has decided to forego an extension of long-term benefits for the unemployed prompted the California Employment Development Department to fire off a warning notice to impacted workers.

The news affects housing mildly since many of these workers also carry mortgage debt that is now at risk without the continuation of the unemployment lifeline. In just California, the EDD says more than 220,000 long-term unemployed citizens have been notified that they will lose the federally funded extended benefits in two weeks unless lawmakers renew the extensions.

“Though the decision to renew the unemployment benefit extensions is in the hand of Congress and the President, the EDD is warning our customers that, if no further action is taken in Washington D.C., their federal extension benefits will end on Dec. 28,” said Sharon Hilliard, EDD’s chief deputy director.

The development prompted the organization, Keep Your Home California, to remind homeowners that it offers 12 months of mortgage assistance under the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program.

“To qualify for our unemployment program, you have to receive benefits within the last 30 days,” said Diane Richardson, program director for Keep Your Home California. “We have made a concerted effort to make sure homeowners receiving benefits make that call before the end of January.”

Richardson says the group can pay as much as $3,000 a month to help an unemployed California borrower who applies for the program. Keep Your Home California has a partnership with the California EDD office, which sent out a special mailer advising impacted unemployment beneficiaries of some of the mortgage assistance available to them.

If this change in unemployment benefits affects you, please go to and see if you qualify for the assistance program. It has saved more than 32,000 California homeowners to date!

If you are thinking of selling your home in the next few years, beware of any expensive upgrades thinking it will give you big gains ...Check out the chart and see what kind of return you can expect on the top five upgrades that should be avoided in California.

Eileen Schamber is the president of the Lodi Association of Realtors and can be reached at