Now Helping Eligible Homeowners with PACE Loan(s)

Eligible applicants can receive up to $80,000 per household.

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This Government Program Is Free.

There Is Nothing To Pay Back.

The California Mortgage Relief Program, administered by the state’s CalHFA Homeowner Relief Corporation is running a referral program that will pay down or pay off PACE loans for eligible homeowners who have requested assistance regarding their PACE loan from a legal aid, consumer advocacy group, housing assistance or government agency.

Categories

PACE Program Eligibility Requirements

Required Documents

Funding

Frequently Asked Questions

List of PACE Programs

More Than Mortgage Relief

You can get state assistance for:

PACE LOAN(S)
LATE MORTGAGE PAYMENTS
UNPAID PROPERTY TAXES
PARTIAL CLAIM OR LOAN DEFERRALS
REVERSE MORTGAGE ARREARAGES

To Apply, Call 1-888-840-2594

Our Contact Center Specialists can walk you through the application.

Open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday

PACE Referral Program Eligibility Requirements:

In order to participate in the PACE Referral Program, homeowners must have an official “PACE Referral Letter” from the California Mortgage Relief Program and/or from a legal, housing assistance or government agency. This letter will need to be submitted with your application for assistance.

You may be eligible for assistance if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have an existing PACE loan(s) and have requested assistance with repayment from a legal, housing assistance, consumer advocacy group, or government agency
  • Property Tax Bill
  • PACE loan(s) was recorded on your property prior to May 11, 2023
  • You experienced a financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Your cash on hand, or assets that can be rapidly converted to cash (excluding savings in a retirement account), are not equal to or greater than the relief funds needed + $20,000
  • You own and live on one property (may have up to 4 units)
  • Your income is at or below 150% of the area median income (AMI) for your county, based on household size (visit CaMortgageRelief.org to check the AMI limit for your county)

Requirements

Mortgage
Relief

Partial Claim/
Loan Deferral

Property Tax

PACE Loan

Reverse
Mortgage

Must have faced a pandemic-related financial hardship after January 21, 2020 X X X X X
Combined household income for residents 18 and over must be at or below 150% AMI (by county)
X X X X X
Homeowners cannot have cash or assets on hand (excluding savings in a retirement account) that is equal to or greater than the relief funds needed + $20,000
X X X X X
The unpaid principal balance of the homeowner’s primary mortgage loan, at the time of origination, cannot be greater than the “conforming loan limit” (as determined under the provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008) in effect at time of origination   X X X
Must be primary residence and own only 1 property X X X X X

Must have missed at least 2 payments by February 1, 2024, and are currently behind

X
Must have missed at least 1 payment by
February 1, 2024
X
Property may include up to 4 units on site: house, condo, permanently affixed manufactured home, ADU, duplex, four-plex X X X X X
Multiple funding awards/applications for qualified applicants, up to $80,000 in maximum assistance X X X X X
Homeowner’s mortgage/loan servicer must be participating in the California Mortgage Relief X X X
Program Homeowner’s PACE loan(s) must be recorded against the property prior to May 11, 2023 X
Homeowner must have sought assistance with their PACE loan(s) through a legal aid, housing counselor, consumer advocacy group, government agency, contractor, county assessor, county tax collector and/or PACE Administrator regarding a financial hardship that has affected their ability to afford housing payments. Documentation required. X

Required Documents

Required documents will depend on each applicant’s unique circumstances. Documents needed may include:

  • Income Documentation

  • Property Tax Statement (available from county tax collector’s office)

    You can retrieve this document by contacting your local county tax collector’s office and requesting a copy.


  • PACE Assessment Contract (available from your program administrator or local government agency)

    PACE loan documents are often emailed instead of being sent through regular mail. If you use email, you can search for messages that include the name of your PACE program (such as HERO, California First or E3) or program administrator (such as Renew Financial, Renovate America, Home Run Financing, PACE Funding Group, Fortifi, Energy Efficient Equity or Ygrene) and check for attached documents. If you know the name of the program administrator involved in your PACE loan transaction, you can also request a copy of your loan documents from them. You can also reach out to the local government agency that your PACE Administrator has partnered with.


  • Notice of PACE Assessment (available from county clerk-recorder's office)

    You can retrieve this document by checking your county property records to see if a Notice of Assessment was recorded against your property. Check your county clerk-recorder’s website or visit the office of the county clerk-recorder.


  • PACE Referral Letter

    Homeowners with PACE loans will receive this letter from the California Mortgage Relief Program or from one of the California Mortgage Relief Program’s PACE Partners. This letter must be uploaded into the application as a condition of eligibility.


  • If additional documents are needed while your application is under review, you will receive an email communication from the California Mortgage Relief Program.

Funding

When a PACE loan application is approved, the funds are paid to the local government agency involved with the PACE loan. The California Mortgage Relief Program does not send any payments directly to homeowners.

The process for funding flows in the following way:

Required Documents

The funds will be disbursed directly to the local government agency that acted as the PACE lender. Homeowners who are awarded funds will receive three notifications:

  • 1st Notification: Sent when application is approved
  • 2nd Notification: Sent when PACE loan payment is made by the California Mortgage Relief Program
  • 3rd Notification: Sent when funds are applied to pay off or pay down the PACE loan

Notice to County

The local government agency is responsible for recording a notice with the county clerk-recorder’s office when a PACE loan is paid off and is also responsible for instructing the applicable county tax collector’s office to remove the PACE assessment from the property tax bill.

Payoff/Pay Down Recorded

Depending on the local government agency procedures and county processing timelines, it may take several months before official public records reflect that the PACE loan has been paid off and that the PACE lien has been discharged.

In some counties where property tax bills are only updated once or twice a year, it may also take several months or up to a year before the PACE assessment is removed from the property tax bill.

To avoid penalties and late fees, the total amount shown on property tax bill and/or mortgage statement should be paid until the adjustments are reflected on statements. Overpayments made during this time will be refunded or credited by the mortgage servicer or county after the adjustments are made.

Homeowner Follow-Up

When a PACE loan is paid off or paid down through the California Mortgage Relief Program, it could take up to a year to be reflected the homeowner’s property tax bill and/or escrow payment. To avoid penalties and late fees, the total amount shown on property tax bill and/or mortgage statement should be paid until the adjustments are reflected on statements. Overpayments made during this time will be refunded or credited by the mortgage servicer or county after the adjustments are made.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is PACE Loan assistance through the California Mortgage Relief Program?

The state’s California Mortgage Relief Program provides grants to eligible homeowners to help pay down or pay off qualifying PACE loans. The grants help homeowners who experienced a COVID-related financial hardship after January 2020 and whose PACE loan was recorded with the county before May 11, 2023. Assistance provided through this program is not a loan and does not need to be paid back. For more information, homeowners can review the program Term Sheet as approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury: PACE Assistance Term Sheet at www.CaMortgageRelief.org/PACE.

What is a PACE loan?

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) loans, also known as PACE assessments, provide financing for energy efficient home improvements. When a homeowner takes out a PACE loan to pay for a home improvement project, the PACE program places a lien on the homeowner’s property, and the homeowner repays the PACE loan through an additional assessment on their property tax bill.

When homeowners take out PACE loans, the transactions are generally implemented by two types of entities:

  • a local government agency that formally establishes a PACE program in a homeowner’s jurisdiction and is named in PACE loan agreements
  • a company called a program administrator that promotes and administers the program to homeowners on behalf of the local government agency.
How do homeowners know who their local government agency is?

The PACE local government agency is the governmental entity that formally establishes a PACE program within a homeowner’s jurisdiction. When a homeowner participates in a PACE program, they enter into a PACE Assessment Contract with the local government agency that acted as the lender. A homeowner can identify their local government agency by looking at the name of the government entity on their PACE Assessment Contract.

For a list of active (currently enrolling new PACE loans) and inactive local government agencies please refer to the local agency column here: https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/caeatfa/pace/participants.asp.

How do homeowners know who their program administrator is?

The PACE program administrator is the entity that promotes and administers a PACE program on behalf of a local government agency. These administrators market PACE programs to homeowners, oversee the home improvement contractor network, and process and approve PACE loan applications.

PACE loan documents can be used to identify the program administrator. For homeowners who use email, they can search for messages regarding their PACE documents if they are having trouble determining their administrator.

For a list of active (currently enrolling new PACE loans) and inactive PACE program administrators please refer to the program administrator column here: https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/caeatfa/pace/participants.asp.

How do I know if I have a PACE loan?

For homeowners who have a PACE loan, it will be recorded as a lien against the property with the county clerk-recorder’s office in the county where the property is located. Payments due on a PACE loan will show up as an additional assessment line item on the property tax bill. Homeowners can confirm they have a PACE loan in one of several ways:

  • Checking for a special assessment line item on the property tax bill
  • Reviewing any agreements or notices they have about financing for home improvement projects on the property
  • Checking with the county clerk-recorder’s office (often available online) for a PACE lien on the property. Office location and contact information can be found

If the homeowner is not sure if they have a PACE loan, please call our contact center at (888) 840-2594 for assistance.

Can homeowners who already paid off their PACE loan, but also had a COVID hardship get paid back for the PACE loan?

No. The California Mortgage Relief Program can only provide assistance for the remaining balance of existing PACE loans. Assistance cannot go toward covering past payments that were already made or reimbursing paid-off PACE loans.

Do homeowners have to be delinquent (behind) on their property tax payments or late on their mortgage payments to qualify for PACE loan assistance?

No. Homeowners do not have to be delinquent on their property taxes or mortgage payments to qualify for PACE loan assistance. Assistance may be provided to eligible applicants who experienced a COVID-related financial hardship after January 2020 and who have existing PACE loan(s) recorded against their property prior to May 11, 2023.

The California Mortgage Relief Program allows homeowners to apply for multiple forms of assistance at one time. Eligible homeowners who apply for multiple forms of assistance will have funds applied first to late mortgage payments, then delinquent property taxes, and then finally to their PACE loans. Each eligible household may receive a maximum of $80,000 in total assistance.

If I have a commercial PACE loan(s), can I still receive assistance?

No. This program solely serves eligible applicants with residential PACE loans. The eligible property types that applicants can receive PACE loan assistance for are:

  • Single-family (attached or detached) properties
  • Condominium units
  • 1-4 unit owner-occupied
  • Mobile Homes permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate
How much financial assistance can I receive?

Funding for PACE loans is available to cover some or all of the remaining amount owed on an eligible homeowner’s PACE loan(s), up to $80,000. Eligible homeowners with a remaining balance on their PACE loan(s) that is higher than $80,000 can receive a partial payment on the loan(s), to reduce the amount owed. Eligible homeowners who previously received assistance from the California Mortgage Program for other housing expenses (e.g., mortgage relief) may apply for PACE loan assistance. Eligible homeowners who apply for multiple forms of assistance will have funds applied first to late mortgage payments, then delinquent property taxes, and then finally their PACE loans. Each eligible household may receive a maximum of $80,000 in total assistance.

If a homeowner’s PACE loan is paid through their mortgage escrow or impound account, how will they know the PACE loan is paid off?

After a PACE loan is paid off, homeowners should ask their mortgage servicer to adjust their escrow payment. However, this process will depend on when each county updates its property tax bills, so there may be delays of several months or up to a year in getting the escrow payment adjusted and the PACE loan showing as cleared on the property tax bill.

List of Pace Programs

For a complete list of PACE programs visit https://www.treasurer.ca.gov/caeatfa/pace/participants.asp.

Funded through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’s Homeowner Assistance Fund, the California Mortgage Relief Program is run by the CalHFA Homeowner Relief Corporation.

Eligibility and program information can be found in the PACE Term Sheet.