Drowning in Past-Due Rent

Millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic have fallen thousands of dollars behind on rent and utility bills, a warning sign that people are running out of money for basic needs. Nearly 12 million renters will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities by January, Moody’s Analytics warns. Last month, 9 million renters said they were behind on rent, according to a Census Bureau survey. The stakes are high for some 20 million Americans receiving some kind of unemployment aid, who have seen weekly checks dwindle since August, making it harder to pay bills.

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