CFPB Says Millions Face Foreclosure, Evictions

Millions of Americans face foreclosure and eviction from their homes once housing pandemic protections come to an end, according to a report released Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The CFPB found that nearly 11 million families are behind on rent or mortgage payments, with 8.8 million behind on rent and 2.1 million behind on their mortgages. That accounts for nearly $90 billion in missed mortgage payments.

The report also found:

  • Black and Hispanic families are more than twice as likely to report being behind on housing payments than white families.
  • While mortgage forbearance has dropped foreclosures to historic lows, 1 million homeowners are more than 90 days behind on payments and are likely to experience severe financial hardship when payments resume. Of these families, an estimated 263,000 families are seriously behind on their mortgages and not in forbearance, putting them at higher risk of foreclosure once federal and state moratoria end.
  • 9 percent of renters, who do not have the same protections or options as homeowners, report that they are likely to be evicted. Black and Hispanic households are more likely to report being at risk.
  • 28 percent of manufactured home residents reported being behind on their housing payments, compared to 12 percent of single-family home residents, and 18 percent of residents in small-to-mid-sized multi-unit buildings.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently extended bans on lenders from foreclosing on most mortgages until June 30. After that date, families who cannot resume making regular payments will need to make an agreement with their lender to avoid foreclosure. Residential eviction protections for renters are extended through March 31.  

“We have very little time to prevent millions of families from losing their homes to eviction and foreclosure,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said. “At the CFPB, we are working hard to help homeowners and renters as the U.S. begins to turn a painful crisis, caused by the pandemic, into a robust recovery.  We know small landlords are struggling, too, with many dipping into savings or using credit cards to make it through the pandemic. We want everyone—homeowners and renters, landlords, and mortgage servicers—to have the tools they need now to avoid unnecessary evictions and foreclosures.”