Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced that most major banks will provide mortgage relief to property owners, a development that also will benefit independent rental owners experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19.

Gov. Gavin Newsom

“Two-hundred state charter banks and credit unions have committed to the state of California that they will provide forbearance on foreclosures and on mortgage payments,” Newsom said during a news conference Wednesday, adding “And I’m very pleased that Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citi, and JPMorgan Chase, have all agreed to 90 day waiver of payments for those that have been impacted by COVID-19.”

The governor’s announcement came just days after hundreds of California Apartment Association members sent letters to Newsom and lawmakers, requesting such assistance.

The waivers, however, appear only to properties with 1-4 units. CAA will continue to advocate for waivers for larger multifamily properties.

“Thank you, CAA members, for participating in the association’s action alert this week,” said Debra Carlton, the association’s executive vice president of state public affairs. “Clearly, your efforts were integral to securing much-needed assistance to housing providers impacted by COVID-19.”

According to this news release from Newsom’s office, the institutions that have signed on to the governor’s proposal also will:

  • Provide borrowers a streamlined process to request a forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation.
  • Confirm approval of and terms of forbearance program.
  • Provide borrowers the opportunity to request additional relief, as practicable, upon continued showing of hardship due to COVID-19.
  • No negative credit impacts resulting from relief.

The governor’s news release also says that, for at least 60 days, financial institutions will not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions, consistent with applicable guidelines.

Moreover, for at least 90 days, financial institutions will waive or refund at least the following for customers who have requested assistance:

  • Mortgage-related late fees
  • Other fees, including early CD withdrawals (subject to applicable federal regulations).

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