More California homeowners can now get mortgage help via state program. Are you eligible?

California has extended the requirements for the California Mortgage Relief Program to provide additional assistance to eligible homeowners.

As part of the Homeowner Assistance Fund authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, California was awarded $1 billion to put toward the program, which provides homeowners with up to $80,000 in assistance.

The program aims to help those with missed property taxes, late mortgage payments, reverse mortgages and partial claims or loan deferrals taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Monday, only about $776 million has been distributed.

To continue aiding more Californians, the program has repeatedly extended the requirements to assist low-income and moderate-income homeowners.

Here’s who qualifies:

Who is eligible to receive assistance?

With the latest extension, homeowners who’ve missed at least two mortgage payments or at least one property tax payment by Feb. 1 are eligible to receive assistance.

According to the program’s website, California homeowners may be eligible if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • Missed at least two mortgage payments and are currently past due.

  • Missed at least one payment for property taxes.

  • Have a partial claim or loan deferral.

  • Have a reverse mortgage; and owe a past-due property tax and/or insurance payment.

All applicants must also meet the following requirements:

  • Own a single-family home, condo, permanently affixed manufactured home or property with up to four units. Applicants must also live in the unit.

  • Experienced a financial hardship due to the pandemic (after Jan. 21, 2020).

  • Household income is equal or less than their county income limit, which is 150% of a county’s Area Median Income based on the program’s federal limits

“Additional requirements will need to be met depending on the type of assistance needed,” the program’s website states.

How can I apply?

Eligible homeowners can apply on the program’s website.

Along with the application, applicants will be required to provide the following documents, depending on their circumstances:

  • Mortgage statement

  • Bank statement

  • Utility bill

  • Income documentation, including pay stubs, tax returns, or unemployment document

If an applicant was previously denied assistance, they are able to re-apply if they meet the updated eligibility criteria, according to the program’s website.

Do I have to repay the money?

“Funds do not have to be paid back and the program is free,” the program’s website states.

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