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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

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  • COVID-19 and the Housing Markets
  • Volume 24 Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Characteristics of Mortgage Borrowers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from the National Mortgage Database

Greta Li
David Low
Judith Ricks

*Authors are affiliated with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of Research. Corresponding author contact: judith.ricks@cfpb.gov. The views expressed in this paper do not represent the views of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the United States.

Using a nationally representative sample of first-lien mortgages, this article analyzes borrower and mortgage characteristics of borrowers that were in forbearance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis shows that Black and Hispanic borrowers were severely overrepresented among borrowers in forbearance compared with their representation in the overall sample. This article also sheds light on the potentially difficult financial circumstances of borrowers that entered into forbearance, especially those who remained in forbearance after the expiration of CARES Act protections. The analysis provides a descriptive baseline that is useful for understanding the effects of pandemic mortgage policy on borrower transitions out of forbearance programs.

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