1.5 Million Americans Face a Financial Cliff as Mortgage Forbearance Ends. These Are Their Options

If it hadn’t been for a mortgage forbearance program, Destiny Blackmon says she could have lost her home.

Blackmon had just returned to work after dealing with a medical issue when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and knocked her and her husband, Floyd, and their three children off their feet again. “It just got really bad … both of us had like a crazy reduction in hours,” says Blackmon. By June 2020, she estimates they were getting by on the equivalent of a single pre-COVID income.

Now the Blackmons are among an estimated 330,000 homeowners facing the end of their mortgage forbearance protections in October, according to a recent report from the data analytics firm Black Knight.

Over 9 million households have taken advantage of mortgage forbearance programs made available by the CARES Act since the start of the pandemic, according to a New York Federal Reserve Bank report. Roughly 1.5 million households are still in forbearance. A disproportionate number of those fighting to keep their home are in communities of color, according to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report.

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