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More US homeowners skip mortgage payments with jobs vanishing

RIch Pedroncelli/Associated Press/File 2017/Associated Press

More and more US homeowners aren’t paying their mortgages.

Nearly 3 million US home loans are in forbearance plans that allow delayed payments without penalty, according to a report by Black Knight Inc.

The homeowners skipping payments because of lost jobs or income represent 5.5 percent of borrowers with $651 billion in unpaid principal. They break down to 4.9 percent of loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and 7.6 percent of loans extended to borrowers through the Veterans Administration and Federal Housing Administration.

The federal stimulus package enacted to help stem the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak allows borrowers to delay mortgage payments for as long as six months initially, if they’ve lost income because of the pandemic.