Late Lease and Mortgage Funds Rise

Late Rent and Mortgage Payments Rise

Almost six months into the pandemic, the proportion of American homeowners and renters who missed or are late with their monthly housing allowance payments remains stable despite government stimulus initiatives and safeguards, including the CARES Act.

Eleven percent of respondents to an Apartment List survey, including both renters and owners, said they would pay their rent or mortgage for August by the end of the first week of the month, a small decrease from the previous month. And 22 percent said they didn't do anything at all, a slight increase from July (19 percent) but a notable increase from April when 12 percent couldn't pay on time.

The poll we reported on back in June is the source for this week's chart. These and previous months' Apartment List surveys reflect responses from 4,000 respondents who collectively matched the gender and age distribution of the United States.

The National Multifamily Housing Council, which tracks the rent payments of approximately 11.5 million US households, showed that by August 20, approximately 90 percent had completed their monthly payments. However, both surveys showed that those who made late payments were more likely to miss the next payment.

And there are a few reasons why some may not make the payment for the next month: Evacuation protection under the CARES Act expired in July (a 30-day grace period expires in a few days), although local eviction moratoriums still exist in some areas. In addition, the $ 600 emergency unemployment benefit also expired in July, and President Trump's recent order would provide for a lower amount – nothing to suggest a reversal of late housing benefits or growing debt.

At the beginning of August, 32 percent already owed money for missed or partial rent or mortgage payments, according to the survey on the apartment list. As in previous months, tenants struggled to make more payments than owners.

The survey offers hope: Many landlords are negotiating payment plans. Almost half of tenants with housing debts have negotiated or are about to negotiate a payment plan. After all, it is in a landlord's interest to earn rental income rather than sitting on a vacant unit.


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