A bit of relief
Renters who miss a single rent payment and homeowners who miss one mortgage payment don't automatically get evicted or foreclosed on. But given that a large number of Americans might struggle in the coming weeks or months to make good on their housing payments, this is very good news. It's also good news for those renters who were in the process of getting evicted and for homeowners who were already on the verge of foreclosure.
That said, those who can't make their housing payments in the near term shouldn't just sit back and do nothing, as going that route could negatively impact their credit. Rather, renters who think they'll fall behind on rent should contact their landlords or management companies, explain the situation, and ask what options they have.
Similarly, homeowners who can't make their upcoming mortgage payments should reach out to their lenders. Many are allowing borrowers to hit pause on their payments temporarily, though it's worth noting that in many cases, interest will continue to accrue on those mortgages while they're in forbearance.
It's too soon to tell when the COVID-19 outbreak will be better contained and when Americans can get back to their normal way of living. But for now, it's nice to see that renters and homeowners alike are getting some breathing room as the country navigates one of the greatest challenges it's ever faced.