Following the announcement of $1 billion in funding from the U.S. Treasury, California homeowners who have fallen behind on home payments can now apply for a grant to repay missed mortgage payments or reverse mortgage arrearages during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information on eligibility requirements and how to apply are available at CaMortgageRelief.org.
The California Mortgage Relief Program will cover past due mortgage payments in full as a one-time grant – up to a maximum of $80,000 per household – with a direct payment to the homeowners’ mortgage servicer. The program is free and the funds do not need to be repaid. The program is run by the CalHFA Homeowner Relief Corporation (CalHRC), a special-purpose affiliate of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA).
Earlier this year, the DFPI issued a historic reporting requirement for residential mortgage servicing licensees to report how they would be protecting homeowners through increased mortgage relief staffing, mitigation efforts such as repayment plans, and state and federal mortgage relief funding.
All 362 DFPI licensees responded, providing a 100 percent response rate from servicers managing a total of more than 4.6 million mortgage loans amounting to $1.4 trillion. Eighty-six percent of licensees reported by December 2021 that they have appropriate policies and procedures in place to protect homeowners, with 72 percent noting that they had added sufficient staffing to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
DFPI Commissioner Clothilde V. Hewlett discussed the historic nature of the funding in a press conference last week and implored licensees to take action. “To every lender, servicer, and sub-servicer: we thank you for your efforts,” she said. “For those who haven’t signed up to participate in the California Mortgage Relief Program, we want to encourage you to join us and make history.”
Because servicers need to be enrolled in the program for California homeowners to be eligible for funding, the DFPI asks all licensees to sign up. To participate in the Program, simply send an email to [email protected] to begin the necessary paperwork with the Homeowner Relief Corporation (CalHRC). Additional questions can be submitted to Cal HFA servicer liaison Bryan Courtney at [email protected]