Rich May (Massachusetts): Consumer Economic Relief Efforts

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the government and private enterprise are scrambling to fashion appropriate relief for consumers impacted by the economic fallout of the crisis.

On March 19, 2020, the government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that borrowers suffering economic hardship could qualify for a reduction or suspension of mortgage payments for up to 12 months. This relief covers the approximately half of home loans in the U.S. guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. Many private lenders are separately implementing forbearance policies to prevent borrowers from defaulting due to present and anticipated economic conditions. Use the following links to see if Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae holds your mortgage.

The same day, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York banks would waive mortgage payments for the next 90 days, for borrowers experiencing financial hardship. He also said that he is ordering that bank overdraft fees, ATM fees, and credit card fees be waived during that period. Earlier this week, Gov. Cuomo also announced that New York would halt collection of state student loan and medical debt through at least April 15, 2020. We previously wrote about the Massachusetts legislative proposal to halt evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 crisis, and other state-level relief is doubtless forthcoming.

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