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Americans may owe $7.2B in unpaid rent by December: Fed

Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita and Sibile Marcellus discuss how much Americans could owe in unpaid rent amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Federal Reserve study.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Let's turn our attention now to what's been playing out on the ground for so many millions of Americans, those rents piling up, even though the eviction moratoriums have allowed Americans to stay in their homes, with no sign of fiscal relief from the government, there's concern that many of these Americans could face eviction.

Let's bring in Sibile Marcellus, who is tracking that story for us. And Sibile, you've been looking at this new Fed study that points to a really big financial hurdle these Americans are going to have to go through.

SIBILE MARCELLUS: That's right. So we keep talking about an eviction crisis. And this new Fed study actually gives us more insight into exactly what that's going to look like. And the number is massive. Now, according to Fed data, by December, Americans will owe $7.2 billion in rent. And we're talking about Americans who are unemployed, lost their jobs, got laid off, and didn't get, as we know, that extension for $600 in additional unemployment benefits per week. That's on top of state benefits.

Now, here's the kicker. If Washington had extended the $600 unemployment benefits per week, then that number would have been much smaller. Much less households would've been impacted in falling behind on their rent. And they're saying that it would only have been 125,000 households that wouldn't have been able to pay the rent. So we're really seeing a massive, massive financial toll for Americans trying to keep a roof over their heads.