California Extends Assistance to More Homeowners Struggling with Mortgage or Taxes
In an encouraging move to help struggling homeowners, the California Mortgage Relief program is broadening its scope to reach more individuals affected by the financial hardships of the pandemic.
California’s Initiative to Help Homeowners
This compassionate program is now offering up to $80,000 to low- and moderate-income homeowners who have missed at least two mortgage payments due to pandemic-related financial setbacks. Additionally, those who have fallen behind on property taxes can obtain up to $80,000 to cover the overdue amount.
Previously, the state’s aid was restricted to homeowners who had missed payments by March 1, 2023. However, the California Housing Finance Agency’s Homeownership Relief Corp. has yet to deplete the $1 billion in federal funds allocated for the program. As a result, aid has been extended to those who missed at least two mortgage payments or one property tax payment by August 1, 2023.
Rebecca Franklin, president of the CalHFA Homeownership Relief Corp., expressed the impact of the program in a statement. “We’ve been in touch with many Californians who were skeptical at first about the funding’s legitimacy,” she said. “But we have seen so many vulnerable homeowners successfully save their homes and continue building generational wealth for their families.”
Franklin urged homeowners to take immediate action, stating, “Now that we’ve crossed the halfway mark, California homeowners should apply right away because these funds are limited. Over 20,000 homeowners have already received assistance with late mortgage payments, missed property taxes, and partial claims loan deferrals during the pandemic.”
Eligibility, Application Process, and Coverage Details
Below are detailed insights into the program’s eligibility requirements, how to apply, and what exactly is covered.
Who Is Eligible for Relief?
The program is designed to aid households earning up to 150% of the median income in their respective county who have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. To give an example, 150% of the median income in L.A. County is $132,450 for a single person and $189,150 for a family of four.
A financial hardship under this program is defined as either a reduction in income or an increase in living expenses related to COVID-19. Qualifying expenses include factors like “medical costs, additional household members, or increased utility bills.”
However, some limitations apply:
- The home must be the applicant’s primary residence.
- Ownership of only one property is allowed, though it may contain up to four units.
- If mortgage or tax debt has been paid off, state aid cannot be reclaimed.
- “Jumbo” loans exceeding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac limits will not qualify.
- Homeowners with sufficient cash and assets to cover the mortgage or tax debt are ineligible (excluding retirement savings).
- Participation of the mortgage servicer in the program is mandatory.
How the Program is Changing Lives
California’s Mortgage Relief program illustrates a significant step towards supporting those who have been financially challenged by the pandemic. By extending the availability of funds and expanding the program’s reach, the state is demonstrating a commitment to helping citizens in need.
Homeowners in California who have been affected by the recent economic downturn are encouraged to explore this opportunity. With this initiative, the state is not only providing immediate financial support but also fostering long-term stability for thousands of families, reinforcing the community’s resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges.