The New York Times: Mortgage Lenders Consider Plan to Suspend Payments Amid Crisis

The New York Times, March 17, 2020: Mortgage Lenders Consider Plan to Suspend Payments Amid Crisis

Officials in the industry are forming a plan to let Americans hurt by the coronavirus temporarily stop making loan payments.

Businesses across the country have ground to a halt because of the coronavirus outbreak, leaving millions of Americans wondering how they will make their next mortgage payments.

Their lenders may soon say they don’t have to worry — for a while, at least.

A broad group of bankers and other mortgage industry participants is working on a plan to offer a temporary pause in payments on home loans, according to the Housing Policy Council, a trade group that includes Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Quicken Loans.

Details were still being decided, but the plan would allow borrowers to stop paying for as long as the public health and economic disruptions lasted, said Ed DeMarco, the chief executive of the council. Once the economy gets going again, borrowers would resume making payments.

Groups including the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which promotes fairness in lending and housing, were scheduled to meet with representatives from the country’s largest mortgage lenders on Thursday, according to the coalition’s chief executive officer, Jesse Van Tol.

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