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CoronavirusMortgage

Government snafus boost mortgage forbearance

CARES Act relief hasn't come fast enough to prevent a spike in forbearance requests that outpaced government expectations

making payment on computer

The plan to keep Americans current on their mortgage payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic was supposed to work this way: The millions who lost their jobs would get beefed-up unemployment benefits aimed at fully replacing salaries, and for the first time gig workers would be included.

For good measure, the government would send out $1,200 checks to most Americans “as rapidly as possible,” according to the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill approved by Congress last month.

Except, none of it has happened rapidly enough to prevent a spike in requests for mortgage forbearance – a temporary suspension of loan payments that must be paid back.

Millions of Americans haven’t been able to get through to besieged state unemployment offices to file for benefits despite calling dozens of times a day and trying tricks like getting up in the middle of the night to see if websites overwhelmed by high demand are restored to working order.

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