Bureau says action need to prevent evictions

(March 5, 2021) The day before CFPB Director Nominee Rohit Chopra’s appearance before a Senate committee considering his nomination, the bureau released a report from the current acting director saying the agency is working to mitigate home foreclosures prompted by the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

Acting Director Uejio, in a report posted on the bureau’s website, said up to 10% of U.S. households are now at risk of eviction and foreclosures, largely as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. Uejio also noted that the bureau is working with other agencies to mitigate a potential flood of home foreclosures and evictions in the coming months.

“The good news is that actions taken by both the public and private sector have, so far, prevented many families from losing their homes during the height of the public health crisis,” Uejio wrote in a blog post. “However, as legal protections expire in the months ahead, over 11 million families – nearly 10% of U.S. households – are at risk of eviction and foreclosure. He added that “put simply: we have very little time to prevent millions of families from losing their homes.”

The report notes that, in 2020, those who have fallen behind at least three months on their mortgage increased 250% to more 2 million households. The report asserts that delinquencies are “now at a level not seen since the height of the Great Recession in 2010.”

Collectively, the report states, these households are estimated to owe almost $90 billion in deferred principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments. Meanwhile, the report continues, there are more than 8 million rental households behind in their rent, which the report termed “a rental crisis.”

Housing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic