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Supervisors approve program providing mortgage assistance

Counselors can assist with loan modifications

OW Staff Writer | 9/17/2020, midnight

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently passed a proposal by Supervisor Janice Hahn and coauthored by Supervisor Hilda Solis to prevent foreclosures in LA County by connecting struggling homeowners with foreclosure prevention counseling and mortgage assistance.

“We have been able to make progress keeping renters in LA County in their homes during this crisis by implementing an eviction moratorium and putting $100 million toward rent relief for families struggling to pay rent,” said Hahn, who authored the motion. “But homeowners are struggling too and without a concerted effort on the County’s part, we may be facing a wave of oncoming foreclosures and homelessness.”

The program includes a two-pronged approach. The first is $1.5 million allocated to assist homeowners facing foreclosure by connecting them with foreclosure prevention counselors who can assist with loan modifications, forbearance, and work with their lenders to keep them in their homes. The second is $4 million allocated to creating a Mortgage Financial Relief Program which will provide deferred and forgivable loans to homeowners to help stabilize their mortgage with their loan servicer. The program will be targeted to assist areas of the County which have experienced high levels of foreclosures.

“Housing is a human right and as a result of the economic fallout of this COVID-19 crisis, many impacted individuals and families are on the brink of experiencing homelessness through no fault of their own,” said Solis. “In the midst of this unprecedented global pandemic, many workers in LA County are unemployed indefinitely, and one of the critical steps we can take right now is to keep them in their homes.”

When the program is developed, services will be available through the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs.