Mortgage Payment Relief and Foreclosure Protections In California for Homeowners Affected By Coronavirus

Banks agree to a 90-day grace period on mortgage payments for homeowners in California who’ve been financially hurt by the coronavirus outbreak.

By , Attorney

Under an agreement with California Governor Gavin Newsom, four of the five major banks in the United States—JP Morgan Chase, Citi, US Bank, and Wells Fargo—along with around 200 credit unions and state banks, have consented to give homeowners mortgage payment relief during the coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, if the COVID-19 pandemic has affected you financially and you live in California, you can get a 90-day forbearance on mortgage payments. (Bank of America agreed to 30 days.) As part of the agreement, the banks also agreed not to report late payments to the credit reporting bureaus.

Don't just stop making your mortgage payments, though. Contact your loan servicer to ensure that you qualify for the payment suspension. To get details on how to apply for relief, go to the official California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website.

During the process, the banks will provide borrowers with:

  • a streamlined way to request a forbearance due to coronavirus-related reasons (you'll probably have to provide some kind of supporting documentation)
  • confirmation of forbearance approval and terms of the forbearance program, and
  • the opportunity to extend a forbearance agreement if you continue to experience financial hardship due to coronavirus.

Also, under the deal, financial institutions won't initiate foreclosure sales or evictions, consistent with applicable guidelines, for at least 60 days, and, for at least 90 days, banks will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees to customers who request assistance.

Previously, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-28-20, which authorizes local governments to stop any foreclosures through May 31.

To learn more about foreclosure protections and mortgage payment relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, read Coronavirus: Foreclosure Relief and How to Get Mortgage Payment Relief During the Coronavirus Outbreak. To find out about different kinds of potential relief if you can't make payments on a personal loan, small business loan, or credit card debt, read Dealing With Loans and Credit Card Debt You Can't Pay After COVID-19.

Effective date: March 25, 2020