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Prevention Measures and Increased Borrower Equity Lower Foreclosure Risk

Friday, February 19, 2021

The Urban Institute (UI) says the surge in foreclosures predicted as the COVID-19 pandemic drove unemployment to the highest level since the Great Depression may not materialize, even when the current forbearances end. Two UI researchers, Michael Neal and Laurie Goodman, say that even vulnerable homeowners may be spared, and they think they have identified the reasons. Mortgage forbearance rates peaked at 8.55 percent of active mortgage in June 2020 and began to fall when unemployment rates did. Since October, however, both unemployment and forbearance rates have flattened. This has heightened concern that many homeowners could face foreclosure later this year.

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