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Rebound Mid Michigan: Asking for rent or mortgage help

Posted at 7:52 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 07:52:28-04

LANSING, Mich. — It's less than two weeks until rent or mortgage payments are due again. If you're worried about being able to pay, Alicia Nieves shows us what you might be able to do to buy your family some time, and where to find letters to send your bank or landlord as you ask for help.

Many Homeowners and renters are still struggling. ccording to a survey done by Apartment List, 31% of them were unable to make their full housing payment this month “the percentage of people struggling to pay their housing cost is definitely going up.” May’s 31% is up from 24% of homeowners and renters who were unable to pay their rents and mortgages in April.

“Of the people who weren’t able to pay their full housing cost, about 40% said they had made some sort of arrangement. Presumably despite not being able to pay their full housing cost it was under some kind of arrangement made with their landlord or lender.”

That means 60% of homeowners and renters made no arrangements... and essentially...may not be taking full advantage of provisions Congress passed in the CARES Act... to help them.

“anybody with a federally backed mortgages has the rights, under the stimulus, to delay their mortgages payments for 6 months. But they need to request it specifically.”

The company SixFifty, has created two free websites to help those still struggling with housing costs. The first, makes it easier for homeowners to access the help provided by Congress.

“We saw banks ushering people into their own forbearance programs which had terms that were not nearly as generous as the federal stimulus so we developed this letter so that people could specifically request to delay their payments under the federal stimulus.”

SixFifty’s second site is “it writes a letter to the landlord, informing them that they can’t pay rent and that evictions are likely barred under the federal stimulus.”

3000 people have used these letters in the last 4 weeks, and it is unclear how many will use them for next month. Analysts with Apartment List are unsure if the number of Americans struggling to make their monthly housing payment, will continue to rise in June.

“June we are in this place where certain parts of the economy are reopening". Some people are being able to start working again. “I think that if people are continuing to get laid off at the rate they are getting laid off then the number could get worse, but June may also be the turning point.”

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