Those who still think we have a foreclosure event in our future are unfamiliar with how the rules have changed in California. There’s never been a better time to be a deadbeat:

The United States Department of the Treasury has approved California’s plan to provide $1 billion in mortgage relief, clearing the way for the California Mortgage Relief Plan to provide help to as many as 40,000 struggling homeowners, according to a statement from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. “We are committed to supporting those hit hardest by the pandemic, and that includes homeowners who have fallen behind on their housing payments,” Newsom said in a statement. “No one should have to live in fear of losing the roof over their head, so we’re stepping up to support struggling homeowners to get them the resources they need to cover past due mortgage payments.” California already has provided renters and landlords with assistance, he noted.

“Now, with our California Mortgage Relief Program, we are extending that relief to homeowners,” he said. The program will help homeowners make past due housing payments — to a maximum of $80,000 per household — by making a direct payment to the mortgage servicers.

The funding, which is allocated through the federal American Rescue Plan Act’s Homeowner Assistance Fund, is provided as a one-time grant that qualified homeowners will not be required to repay. Californians at or below 100% of their county’s area median income, who own a single-family home, condo or manufactured home, and who faced pandemic-related hardships after Jan. 21, 2020, may be eligible for the program. Applicants can visit the California Mortgage Relief Program at CaMortgageRelief.org for more information. Online applications will soon be available.

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