The House and Senate are at loggerheads over a new financial relief package for people and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. If they don’t act soon Americans will begin losing many protections provided in the CARES Act, enacted in March.
1. Enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire July 31. The CARES Act added $600 a week to most unemployment benefits, but the aid expires July 31. The legislation made self-employed workers eligible for unemployment benefits for the first time, and that aid continues through Dec. 31. Basic unemployment benefits vary by state, and average less than $380 per week, according to the Tax Policy Center.
2. Some mortgages will lose foreclosure protection Aug. 31. Homeowners with federally backed mortgages were granted a moratorium on foreclosure at least through Aug. 31. In addition, borrowers who have federally backed mortgages and are experiencing Covid-19-related financial strain can request up to 12 months of forbearance on their mortgage payments.
3. Renters' protection from eviction may last a while longer. The CARES Act protected tenants from being evicted, through July 25, from properties that have federally backed multifamily mortgage loans. The Trump administration, however, said on July 26 it will extend the deadline. This applies to roughly a fourth of all renters. These tools by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can help renters learn whether they qualify. Some states established protection for tenants in private rental properties, with expiration dates shown here.
4. Some early withdrawals from retirement savings will remain penalty-free through Dec. 31. Ordinarily, people are penalized for withdrawing money from tax-deferred retirement savings accounts – such as a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) – before reaching age 59 ½. The CARES Act allows penalty-free coronavirus-related withdrawals through Dec. 31. The account owner still must pay the usual taxes, but has three years to do so.
5. A break on student loan repayments will expire Sept. 30. Congress granted student loan borrowers a six-month forbearance on federal loans at the pandemic’s outset. This reprieve ends Sept. 30.