San Diego County Renter and Homeowner Assistance

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With businesses shuttered as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, many Californians are experiencing an unexpected financial hit and new challenges in affording their rent or mortgage payments. Some cities in San Diego County may take additional action in the coming days and week, but here is what you need to know about relief that is available for renters and homeowners in Assembly District 80:

Renter and Eviction Relief

If you need to request a delay in paying your April rent, you will need to submit this request to your landlord in writing.

Click here to download a template notice of inability to pay rent

Download template in Spanish

The following local cities have passed the following rules on renter and eviction relief:

City of San Diego:

  • Renters and small businesses cannot be evicted if they notify their landlord in writing, on or before the day the rent is due, that they are unable to pay the full amount of rent.
  • Renters are required to provide proof to their landlord within 7 days that they have lost substantial income OR substantial out-of-pocket medical expenses as a result of a COVID-19 related issue.
  • Qualifying renters still need to repay the full amount of rent and have until Sept. 25, 2020 to pay any and all unpaid rent. 
  • Landlords cannot charge late fees for any unpaid rent related to COVID-19.

Chula Vista:

  • You must inform your landlord in writing that you are unable to pay the rent as a result of a COVID-19 related issue, and provide supporting documentation within 30 days of your rent being due.
  • Renters still need to repay the full amount of rent and have six months from the date City Council terminates the Emergency Ordinance to repay the rent.
  • Landlords may not charge or collect a late fee for rent delayed as a result of a COVID-19.

National City:

On March 27th, Governor Newsom issued an order that established a statewide halt on evictions for renters affected by COVID-19, lasting until May 31st. Under this order: 

  • Renters who are not able to pay the full amount of rent must notify their landlord in writing no more than 7 days after rent is due. 
  • Renters must have proof that shows they are unable to pay as a result of a COVID-19 related reason. 
  • Renters are obligated to pay the full amount of the rent in a timely manner and could still face eviction actions after the order is lifted. 

Unincorporated San Diego County:

  • Renters must inform their landlord in writing on or by the day the rent is due that they are unable to pay the rent due to a COVID-19 related issue and provide supporting documentation within 7 days of providing notice.
  • An eligible tenant has three months from June 1, 2020 to repay any rent owed before the landlord may seek eviction actions. If the tenant remains unable to pay rent due to COVID-19, the tenant may provide the landlord with another notice and documentation pursuant to extend payment date by one additional month.
  • Landlords cannot charge late fees for any unpaid rent related to COVID-19.

If you need any legal assistance to help clarify your situation, you can contact the Legal Aid Society of San Diego at 877-534-2524 or via their online form. The Legal Aid Society is still providing intake and legal assistance remotely. Their specialists are available Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Homeowner Mortgage and Eviction Relief

State Actions

On March 25th, Governor Newsom announced that various financial institutions have agreed to provide mortgage relief for individuals dealing with financial challenges due to COVID-19. Four large banks, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, US Bank, and Wells Fargo, along with nearly 200 state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers have agreed to the following:

  • Provide borrowers with mortgage payment delays for up to 90 days for COVID-19 related hardship, which is supported by available proof;
  • No negative credit reporting for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19 relief;
  • Institutions will not initiate foreclosures or evictions for at least 60 days; 
  • Waive any late payment fees or penalties for at least 90 days.

To learn about and apply for available mortgage relief, you should contact and work directly with your mortgage servicer. Please note that financial institutions and their servicers are experiencing high volumes of inquiries.

If your mortgage provider is not responsive or cooperative, you can file a complaint with the Department of Business Oversight (DBO):

  • Via DBO’s website: dbo.ca.gov/file-a-complaint/
  • Via the DBO Consumer Services Office: (866) 275-2677 or (916) 327-7585
  • Via email: Ask.DBO@dbo.ca.gov

Federal Actions - Foreclosure and Evictions

On March 18th, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced they were suspending foreclosures and evictions for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for 60 days. This order halts all new foreclosure actions and suspends ongoing foreclosure actions in process.

Additionally, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) to suspend foreclosure and eviction actions for at least 60 days. This foreclosure and eviction order applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single family mortgage.

 

Federal Actions – Loan payment delays

FHFA announced that homeowners with Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages will have the option to claim hardship forbearance if they are facing financial hardship as a result of a COVID-19 related issue. Mortgage relief options include:

  • Mortgage payment relied by providing forbearance for up to 12 months;
  • Waiving penalties and late fees;
  • Suspending reporting to credit bureaus of past due payment for borrowers in a forbearance plan.

If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments or believe you may fall behind on your payments soon, contact your loan servicer now. 

More information for homeowners with a Freddie Mac-backed mortgage.

More information for homeowners with a Fannie Mae-backed mortgage.

Landlord Mortgage Relief

On March 23rd, the FHFA announced that Multifamily property owners (properties with 5 or more units) with Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages will have the opportunity to claim loan payment delays for up to 90 days with the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19.

Property owners should contact and work directly with their mortgage servicers to learn about and apply for available mortgage relief.