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Mortgage relief for Californians after pandemic hardships

Posted at 6:02 AM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 13:57:39-04

The California Mortgage Relief Program is open to people who fell behind on their housing payments, due to hardships related to the pandemic. People can access the application here.

San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation staff attorney Sadie Weller told KSBY: “1,300 families have been assisted so far. The program's goal was to help between 20,000 and 40,000 households in California.”

To qualify:

  • The past due amount must be $80,000 or less at the time of the application’s submission
  • Applicants need to have missed at least two mortgage payments
  • Household income needs to be at or below 100% of their county’s area median income
  • The household must have faced a pandemic related hardship

“At any point after January 2020, the pandemic caused a household to lose income like job loss, job reduction, things like that. Any sort of loss of hours, any sort of temporary or permanent reduction in household income,” said Weller.

"The goal here really is to prevent foreclosures," Weller added. "It’s to prevent displacement of families in California. So the assistance will not need to be repaid.”

The family is eligible if they own one property, whether that be a family home, a condo, or even a mobile home. The program does not include investment properties.

“The program is a one-time financial assistance. It's not a loan. It's not like a second mortgage. They don't issue a lien on your property. It's just a one-time payout, 100% of what you owe on your mortgage to bring it current,” Weller said.

According to Weller, the average median income for SLO County is $109,000 for a family of four.

Once a household receives the money and the family is no longer at risk of foreclosure or losing their home, they are expected to make ongoing payments if they still owe on the mortgage.

San Luis Obispo County residents looking for more info on this program or for assistance in avoiding foreclosure can call (805) 543-5140 for an eligibility screening and legal intake.