DFPI Efforts Boost Participation in US Treasury-Funded Mortgage Relief Program

State financial regulator reporting requirement and notices to licensees to participate in the federal program yield results that better protect homeowners

SACRAMENTO – Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s Dec. 20 announcement that the US Treasury approved $ 1 billion in homeowner mortgage support, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) highlights efforts that have spurred participation in and helped forge a national model to protect homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the onset of the pandemic, the DFPI issued a landmark reporting requirement for residential mortgage management licensees to indicate how they would protect homeowners through increased mortgage relief staff, such mitigation efforts. as well as repayment plans and state and federal mortgage relief funding.

All 362 licensees responded, providing a 100% response rate from providers handling a total of over 4.6 million mortgages totaling $ 1.4 trillion. Eighty-six percent of licensees said in December 2021 that they had appropriate policies and procedures in place to protect homeowners, with 72 percent noting that they had added enough staff to help homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

“No homeowner should be homeless due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DFPI Commissioner Clothilde V. Hewlett. “I’m so proud of our efforts, which serve as a national model for how regulators can work with licensees and other state partners to create tangible relief for homeowners and help ensure that our economy is rebounding in a way that is fair to all Californians. ”

Thanks to DFPI’s efforts, service agent participation in the California Mortgage Relief Program, which is administered by the California Housing Finance Authority (CalHFA) Homeowner Relief Corporation, has reached 83% of capacity. The California Mortgage Relief Program is part of the California Housing is Key program and is designed to work in tandem with several existing state and federal initiatives and programs to support residents facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For those who haven’t signed up to participate in the California Mortgage Relief Program, we want to encourage you to join us and make history,” Commissioner Hewlett said at a press conference this week to announce the program. “Your efforts will ensure that every California homeowner who is eligible for mortgage relief will have the opportunity to withdraw those funds – to save their home and keep their dreams alive.” If you have not yet registered, we strongly encourage you to do so.

DFPI and CalHFA continue to work with service providers to ensure full participation in the landmark program, which is the largest mortgage relief program in the country.

In April, the DFPI issued a notice to mortgage administration licensees, reminding them of the requirements of the COVID-19 Small Homeowners and Homeowners Act of 2020. The DFPI urged mortgage lenders and Mortgage service agents to work with clients and affected communities to avoid foreclosures in this guide. . The ministry noted in its guidelines to licensees that “mortgage agents may offer clients payment accommodations, such as payment deferrals or due date extensions, loan modifications to change the rate and the loan. mortgage term, or loss mitigation options outlined in updated HUD / FHA guidelines. “

In addition to regulating lenders and mortgage services, the DFPI licenses and regulates financial products and services, including state chartered banks and credit unions, financial lenders and brokers, commodities and financial advisers. investment, fund issuers, securities and franchises offering and selling, brokers, non-bank installment lenders, payday lenders, student loan managers, escrow companies, clean energy program administrators rated by property owners (PACE), debt collectors, hire purchase contractors, credit repair and consumer credit reporting companies, debt relief companies, and more.

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