SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Though COVID-19 federal relief funds passed in 2021, California has launched a mortgage relief program providing free one-time payments to homeowners behind on their housing bills.
U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) met virtually with the California Housing Finance Agency and the state's Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency on Tuesday to talk about more community engagement around the mortgage relief program.
Homeowners can receive up to $80,000 through the $1 billion program.
"With your help in spreading the word about this program you could help upwards of 20,000, 30,000 and maybe even 40,000 homeowners in California," Padilla said.
Here's how you can apply:
Homeowners can apply through an online portal at www.CAMortgageRelief.org
The mortgage relief program application page includes a short questionnaire —which when completed, takes you to the application. From there, you have up to 30 days to submit the application after starting, time set aside in case applicants need to collect documents and other requirements.
Documents needed include a mortgage statement, bank statements, utility bills and a form of income documentation (like paystubs or tax returns). Depending on your application, you may be asked to provide proof of a "work out option" denial.
If the applicant is in active bankruptcy, provide a letter from the servicer and trustee that can collect on the funds for past due mortgage payments.
Who is eligible:
Rebecca Franklin of the California Housing Finance Authority said applicants must meet all of the following requirements to apply.
- Own, or reside in a single-family home, condo or permanently affixed manufactured home (housing unit) in California
- Behind on at least two mortgage payments before the end of 2021.
- Faced a COVID-19 pandemic-related financial hardship after Jan. 21, 2020.
- Earning less than half of your county's average household income (Area Median Income). You can check your county's area median income on the California Mortgage Relief Program's AMI Calculator.
Applicants must also meet at least one of the following requirements.
- Receive public assistance
- More than 40% of income goes to housing costs
- Have no alternative workout option through mortgage servicer
Homeowners with reverse mortgages falling behind on property tax or insurance can receive assistance through the program, as well.
If a homeowner is approved for the program, a direct payment will be sent to their bank or mortgage servicer, then the servicer will apply the payment and the homeowner will be relieved of the cost.
Any additional questions can be answered by U.S. Housing and Urban Development-certified housing counselors at 1-800-569-4287. The California Mortgage Relief Program can be reached at 1-888-840-2594. For emails, homeowners can expect a response within three business days at info@CaMortgageRelief.org.