mortgage and rent
Opinions | 03/28/20

Is a 90-day suspension of mortgage and rent payments even possible? If we can quarantine and entire country under “Shelter in Place” orders, we can certainly figure out how to save our shelters.

Can you imagine how it would change our ability to weather this pandemic financially and mentally if we knew we did not have to make our mortgage or rent payment for the next 90 days?

 
Because as a real estate broker, like many other small business owners, I am suddenly out of business with zero income. As a socially conscious landlord, I am trying to help my tenants, but I also have mortgages on these rental properties.
 
So if mortgage payments were suspended for 90 days (and put on the end of the mortgage loans), landlords across the country could suspend the rent due, offering relief to their tenants.
 
But I know what you’re thinking, I did, too…” but…what about insurance? What about property taxes? What if the tenant moves out in the middle of the suspension?” Valid points, but they pale in comparison to the potential fallout we are facing if this does not happen.
 
I wrote a letter to my governor last week urging such a thing, but my friend and colleague, Marguerite Martin, wrote a better letter to her political leaders over on LinkedIn. Inspired by her letter, I’m posting the new letter I am sending to all of my political leaders today.
 
So I urge you to do the same. It is easy for us to read posts like this and nod in agreement, but it means nothing if we don’t take action. You have the time right now to make a difference; we all do.
 
Either use and edit mine or Marguerite’s letter or write your own, but send it to every influential person you know—your message matters. 
 
I’ve included a link to find your Michigan state representative. Everyone else, google it. Ninety days without worrying about our health is bad enough; being forced into unemployment is terrifying. Securing our shelter will save lives. That is not an exaggeration. Please do it. Copy=> edit=> paste=> send.
 
Dear ________________,
Rent and mortgage payments are looming due in days for many unemployed Americans. As you read this, people are making a critical choice between food, medicine, or making their shelter payment. We must take swift and proactive measures to secure the shelter people have.
 
I am charging you and our other political leaders to take responsible action to protect us all by mandating a nationwide suspension of rents and mortgages for 90 days.
 
If we do not find a way to suspend shelter payments, massive foreclosures and evictions will follow. Many people will be unable to obey the shelter in place and be forced into group living arrangements with family, friends, and shelters, exacerbating and prolonging this nationwide Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Like many small business owners, as a real estate broker, I am out of business with no income and no unemployment benefits. As a socially conscious landlord, I am trying to help my tenants, but I have mortgage payments due on these properties.
 
If mortgage payments are suspended on all properties, commercial and residential, landlords like me across the country could suspend rent due of our tenants. Financial recovery for all of us, including small business owners, would be at least plausible.
 
We must work together to ensure that all rents and mortgages are suspended for 90 days so that everyone has an opportunity to obey the law, shelter in place, and hospitals, businesses, schools, and our country can normalize as soon as possible.
 
We can not make people choose between food, medicine, or shelter. I implore you to use your influence to call on other political leaders to suspend mortgage and rent payments for 90 days; it will literally save lives.
 
Sincerely,
 
Gwen Daubenmeyer, 8th Congressional District, State of Michigan
Small Business Owner, Homeowner, and Socially Conscious Landlord
Link to write online to Governor Whitmer

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