Struggling California homeowners now qualify for mortgage relief, the state on Tuesday expanded a COVID-19 program designed to help those who have fallen behind on their payments during the pandemic .
Homeowners who missed payments this year are now eligible for the assistance that was earlier given only to those who missed at least two payments before December 27, 2021.
The money can now be used to help with past due property taxes, even for people who have ongoing mortgage payments, or for those who own their own homes. And the state has raised the income limit for qualifying — homeowners are now eligible for assistance if they earn 150% or less of their county’s median income.
Under the new standards, the California Mortgage Relief Program estimates that approximately 13,000 Bay Area families are eligible for relief.
“Many Californians see their household finances hit by the COVID-19 public health emergency and grapple with the economic fallout,” California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez said during a news conference. Zoom. In fact, about 10% of California homeowners aren’t convinced, or are only slightly convinced, that they’ll make next month’s mortgage payments, she said, citing U.S. Census Bureau data.
Homeowners who missed at least two mortgage payments before June 30, 2022 may now be eligible for up to $80,000 in outstanding payments. But the eligibility depends on the income of a household. In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, a family of four must make $214,200 or less per year to qualify. The cutoff is $279,600 in San Mateo County and San Francisco, and $252,750 in Santa Clara County.
Homeowners who have missed out on mortgage payments or who own their homes outright but who have missed out on property taxes are now eligible for up to $20,000 in relief if they made at least one tax payment before May 31, 2022. have missed out on. Earlier expansion, only property owners who were behind on their mortgage or who had a reverse mortgage were eligible for property tax assistance.
The news comes as inflation and record-setting gas prices have left people in the Bay Area and across the country scrambling to buy essentials and pay their bills.
There is no deadline to apply for the program, but the state urges homeowners to receive their applications as soon as possible, either by visiting CaMortgageRelief.org or by calling 888-840-2594.
The $1 billion mortgage relief program launched on December 27 has donated more than $68 million to more than 1,900 homeowners. Funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, it is part of a broader effort by the state to help prevent Californians from losing their housing due to the financial difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state temporarily stopped evictions and offered to pay rent on behalf of tenants struggling to pay rent. Governor Gavin Newsom said last month that the rental relief program had disbursed more than $5 billion, but activists complain it has been delayed.
The state had stopped accepting applications on April 1, but earlier this month, thousands of applications were waiting for processing. At its current pace, the state will not receive all pending applications until the statewide eviction protection ends on June 30, according to an analysis by the National Equity Atlas.
Ramirez said he is pleased with the progress made so far in the Rental Assistance Program and Mortgage Relief Program.
“With today’s announcement,” she said, “we are making a bold statement about California’s ability to respond to on-the-ground needs.”