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At Least 5 Million People Did Not Pay Rent or Mortgage in December

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Feb 8, 2021
iStock-848549286 Home Real Estate House Property

Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association has revealed that about 5 million people did not make any rent or mortgage payments in December, which, as dire as it is, nonetheless represents an improvement from earlier in 2020, according to Bloomberg. The sum represents about 5 percent of the total population of renters and mortgage holders.

The data also indicated that 2.3 million renters and 1.2 million mortgagors fear being either evicted or foreclosed upon sometime over the next 30 days. While the president ordered the moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures extended, neither can fully protect everyone: tenant advocates have complained that landlords are taking advantage of loopholes such as being able to evict for reasons other than non-payment of rent), while the foreclosure pause applies only to federally backed mortgages.

However, said Bloomberg, fewer people are concerned about losing their homes, which is likely an effect of government aid over the course of the year. This may change when the forbearance periods end and payments must resume. In May alone, Black Knight, a mortgage data and analytics firm, estimated that everyone who took advantage of the mortgage forbearance program represented $841 billion in unpaid principal. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia estimated in October that, at the end of 2020, renters would owe at least $7.2 billon in back payments.

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