Covid-19: How the Virus Has Impacted Homeowners Across the Country
The coronavirus pandemic has been raging across the country for six months now. Over five and a half million Americans have been infected, and now need financial help. In addition to this, the economy has faced struggles as people shelter at home from the virus. This caused many people who were previously in good standing to have financial problems. Here’s how it has impacted homeowners and what to do about it.
No income? No mortgage payments
Millions have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Some households went from multiple sources of income to none overnight. This obviously put a big strain on their finances. People all over America wondered how they were going to pay for food and bills, including mortgages. Many banks received calls about deferring payments. Covid-19 has turned a lot more families into what are called vulnerable homeowners: those at risk of losing their houses to eviction or foreclosure. Renters were also put in a bad spot, although some cities like New York suspended evictions during the height of the crisis. This didn’t prevent every single person from losing their home, however.
Government financial help
Because of the current crisis America is facing, the government has extended new benefits. One of these came in the form of a stimulus check. This was $1,200 sent to everyone who makes less than $75,000 a year. The goal was to use the money to stimulate the economy, as the normal cash flow caused by people shopping has been largely shut down. Some people used their money to buy food, clothing, or other items, while others used the money to pay their mortgage.
The other way the government gave financial help was through an extra unemployment check. Everyone who lost their job due to COVID was eligible to receive an additional $600 per week through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA. These people were also most likely eligible for regular unemployment benefits. These programs definitely helped homeowners stay on top of their mortgage payments in spite of strained finances.
End of assistance?
Despite the fact that many states are only just now reaching the height of their respective outbreaks, PUA ended on July 31. There is talk of extending the benefit and possibly even sending out another stimulus check, but that will require a new coronavirus relief bill to be passed. Congress has been arguing over what the bill should entail. No one knows when it will be agreed upon. Meanwhile, mortgage payments and other bills continue to stack up for millions of unemployed Americans. According to the Census Bureau, 22 percent of households don’t know if they will be able to make their next rent or mortgage payment.
Many banks have said they will not move forward with foreclosures during the pandemic. However, this does not mean they aren’t still happening. If you are facing foreclosure due to financial problems related to the Covid-19 crisis, it is not too late. The first thing to do is call your lender and try to compromise on an alternate repayment plan. Foreclosure is expensive. Banks don’t want to go through the entire process unless they have to, especially during a time of economic turmoil. See if you can work out a plan to refinance your home or even put your payments into forbearance.
Even if you can’t fix things with the bank, don’t panic. It is time to seek financial help. You need a foreclosure attorney. Bartifay Law Office has been working on foreclosure and bankruptcy cases since 1993. Call (412) 824-4011 to schedule a free consultation.