Last Updated on May 11, 2020 by BVN

Black Voice News Staff

Sacramento, CA – Unemployment claims are rising daily, while more and more Californians are contemplating how they will make their mortgage payments in light of reduced work hours, furloughs, and out-right layoffs resulting from the international pandemic.

On Wednesday afternoon, March 25, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a possible way forward for many homeowners who are grappling with this dilemma.

Four of the five major national banks have now agreed to a 90-day forbearance on mortgage payments. The banks agreeing to participate include Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, US Bank, and Wells Fargo, have all consented to waive mortgage payments for 90 days.

Other good news in this regard is nearly 200 state-charter banks and credit unions have also agreed to the 90-day window.

 The participating financial institutions have also agreed not to negatively impact credit reports as a result of accepting payment relief.  The program also provides borrowers the opportunity to request additional relief, as feasible, upon continued showing of hardship due to COVID-19.

“Millions of California families will be able to take a sigh of relief,” said Newsom. “These new financial protections will provide relief to California families and serve as a model for the rest of the nation. I thank each of the financial institutions that will provide this relief to millions of Californians who have been hurt financially from COVID-19.”

Newsom shared his belief that by taking this more coordinated approach is an improvement over the approach taken during the Great Recession. In addition, the process will not be as laborious for those who seek the assistance as it was during the housing crisis according to the governor.

There is no income requirement to participate in the mortgage relief program; however, applicants must be able to present evidence of how they are being impacted by COVID-19.

For at least 60 days, participating financial institutions have also agreed not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions, consistent with applicable guidelines. For at least 90 Days they have agreed to waive or refund fees and charges for customers who have requested assistance with mortgage-related late fees or other fees including early CD withdrawals (subject to applicable federal regulations).

In the previous couple of weeks, more than a million Californians have applied for unemployment according to state officials.

Bank of America was the only major national bank not to agree to a 90-day forbearance. “The bank has only committed to a 30-day forbearance,” Newsom advised.

Currently, financial institutions and their servicers are experiencing high volumes of inquiries.