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Many Banks To Waive Mortgage Payments, Foreclosures For Californians Impacted By Coronavirus

Laimerpramer / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)
Well Fargo bank headquarters in San Francisco

Nearly 200 banks and credit unions, including four of the five largest in the country, will provide 90-day waivers on mortgage payments to those who have been impacted by COVID-19, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday.

Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank will give 90-day waivers, Newsom said in an afternoon Facebook Live address. Bank of America says it will review requests to pause mortgage payments on a month-to-month basis. 

“It is significant that we have some consistency,” Newsom said. “It’s significant that we don’t have a patchwork one bank to another. That’s what happened in 2008 — credit unions doing one thing, banks doing another, state banks doing something altogether different.”

Newsom said there won't be an income limit on any of the waivers, though homeowners will have to show documentation on how they have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Foreclosures will be halted for at least 60 days. The participating financial institutions have also agreed not to negatively impact credit reports for late payments.

The news comes as the governor also announced that there have been more than 1 million claims for unemployment insurance in the state since March 13.

Newsom said that more than 66,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the state, though there is still a backlog to process them all. Overall, there are 2,535 positive cases in the state and 53 deaths. More than half of the positive tests are people between 18 and 49 years old.

Newsom stressed that all residents should follow the statewide order to stay at home except for essential tasks. On Monday the state closed parking lots at state parks after crowding at some outdoor areas over the weekend.

"Don't think for a second we're a day or two from lifting that order," Nesom said. "These stay at home orders are real. They are not a rural order or an urban order. A Democratic order or a Republican order. Let's meet this moment. Let's follow through."

The state is also working to provide more personal protective equipment to health care workers. Newsom said that 24 million N95 masks have been distributed, and 100 million new masks have been acquired.

In an update to state resources for homeless residents, Newsom said the state now has 2,400 beds and  4,305 hotel rooms across the state to help house people without shelter. He also announced that 1,300 trailers are available, and that Los Angeles and Sacramento counties have identified sites for some. He didn't specify those locations.

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