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Improvement in coronavirus mortgage bailout stalls

After improving markedly in July, the number of borrowers struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments has essentially flatlined and now threatens to move higher.

As of Aug. 25, 3.9 million homeowners were in mortgage forbearance programs, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and analytics firm. This represents 7.4% of all active mortgages and is unchanged from the week before. The numbers have not improved in the past two weeks.

More concerning is that close to three-quarters of those in forbearance have had their terms extended from the initial three-month period. This suggests that their financial situations are not improving, and they are still unable to make their monthly payments. Another survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association also showed the rate of improvement slowing markedly.

“The extremely high rate of initial claims for unemployment insurance and high level of unemployment remain a concern, and are indications of the challenges

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