By the end of April 3.8 million homeowners had sought mortgage relief and were not making their payments. That’s a 2,400% increase from early March, Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data provider, told the Washington Post.
The problem may be even worse for the country’s 40 million households that rent. Nearly 10% of renters didn’t pay in April compared with 5% during a typical month
And May is expected to be an even worse month for both groups. Job losses will continue to rise, those $1,200 one-time checks either haven’t arrived or aren’t nearly enough to cover costs, and households that didn’t pay in April now face another crisis in May.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, projects that 1.5 million to 2 million homeowners will lose their homes in foreclosure.
Forbearance from mortgage lenders has its limits, too, with the industry saying that if 25% of borrowers can’t make mortgage payments, it will need $40 billion to $100 billion in federal help.
And forbearance and any rent delays from landlords still leaves mortgage holders and renters facing huge make-up payments when the immediate crisis has passed.
Some Democrats have proposed $100 billion in rental assistance for the next coronavirus rescue bill.
The National Rental Home Council, which represents landlords of single-family rental homes, proposed that landlords be reimbursed by the government when tenants miss rent payments because of the coronavirus. Renters would then pay back the overmen when they pay their income taxes.