The Rent is About to Come Due For Millions of Renters. What That Means for the ARM Industry

It is possible that the surge in payments that many companies in the accounts receivable management industry have seen and received since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States nearly 17 months ago may likely be on the brink of ending, coinciding with the expiration of a moratorium on evictions that occurred yesterday. Now, $21 billion in unpaid rent is about to come due, and there are concerns about the impact that the end of the eviction moratorium will have on the economy and consumers across the country, at a time when the numbers of those testing positive for COVID-19 is back on the rise.

While the federal government opted not to extend the moratorium on evictions, some state and local governments are attempting to enact their own bans on evictions, allowing individuals to stay in their homes and apartments, even if they are not able to pay their rent. But many individuals and families may find themselves on the outside looking in.

The Biden Administration opted not to challenge a ruling from the Supreme Court that effectively ended a moratorium that was enacted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the administration left Congress to try and pass legislation aimed at extending the eviction ban, but Republicans and Democrats have not yet been able to reach an agreement on legislation.

“It is clear that the Senate is not able to [extend the ban], and any legislation in the House, therefore, will not be sufficient,” a number of senior Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said in a statement that was released Sunday night. “Action is needed, and it must come from the administration.”

Congress had previously earmarked billions of dollars in rental assistance for affected individuals and landlords, but much of that money has not yet been disbursed.

About 7 million households are behind on their rent, according to data provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. About half of those households are “somewhat likely” or “very likely” to face eviction during the next two months, according to a survey conducted by the Census Bureau.

What this means for the ARM industry is likely that individuals with household debts will be forced to re-prioritize their financial obligations, and outstanding debts may have to be moved to the backburner, either to help cover unpaid rent or to help find new housing.

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