Home Economic Development Focus Survey finds 70% of homeowners receiving mortgage assistance did not need it

Survey finds 70% of homeowners receiving mortgage assistance did not need it

The rush on offering monetary help to homeowners struggling with mortgage payments during the COVID-19 pandemic might have included more than a few cases of misplaced generosity, according to a national study released by LendingTree.

mortgageIn a poll of 1,305 homeowners conducted between April 28 and May 1, 70% of respondents who received mortgage forbearance admitted they could’ve made their payments but “just wanted a break from their normal payments.”

In comparison, 26.2% of respondents said they could have made their payments, but would have been unable to pay other essential bills. Only 5% stated they wouldn’t have been able to make their mortgage payment without this assistance.

LendingTree also found only 25% of homeowners surveyed applied for assistance due to a financial hardship exacerbated by the pandemic. Of those homeowners, 80% were approved for a forbearance – but 72% of those who received it claimed they felt “at least a little guilty” about receiving the assistance.

Among demographics, men were more likely to apply for pandemic-related forbearance than women (37.8% to 10.2%) and were more likely to be approved (81% to 75%). Roughly 36% of millennials and 35.1% of Gen Xers applied for forbearance, compared with a mere 3.5% of baby boomers – and approval was granted to 76% of millennials, 87.6% of Gen Xers and 76.9% of baby boomers.

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Phil Hall's writing for Westfair Communications has earned multiple awards from the Connecticut Press Club and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. He is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News and the author of 11 books (including the upcoming "100 Years of Wall Street Crooks," published by Bicep Books). He is also the host of the SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," host of the WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog, Profit Confidential, The MReport and StockNews.com. Outside of journalism, he is also a horror movie actor - usually playing the creepy villain who gets badly killed at the end of each film.

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