Statewide foreclosure crisis looming in Louisiana, says Baton Rouge housing professional

Updated: Oct. 12, 2020 at 4:29 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Research by Urban Footprint found nearly 110,000 Louisiana households were unable to pay their mortgage in September.

A housing professional on the ground floor in the Baton Rouge communities says the sum of overdue housing bills could boil over into 2021.

“If you have a mortgage or rent that’s been past due for months, then you’re not back to normal,” said Samuel Sanders, the executive director at Mid City Redevelopment Alliance.

Playing catch up with your bills is no easy task, especially when the roof over your head is at stake. Sanders says there’s a looming crisis.

“We’re not feeling good about people getting back on their feet when the moratorium is over and make up any payments that were basically postponed for," he said.

An eviction moratorium and mortgage forbearance extended over the summer. Sanders says that helped homeowners and renters for some time, but now, his team is worried about what will happen when that policy expires and no new help is available.

“People are just fearful that when the moratorium ends in January, they are going to be expected to make up payments that they still don’t have just because things are not back to normal in every other part of their lives,” said Sanders.

His team at Mid City Redevelopment Alliance regularly counsels people who face different housing situations. The elderly and lower-income communities are struggling the most to make their payments.

Until local, state, or federal policies are created to soften the blow of overdue payments, you have a few options.

“Look at the various soft second mortgage programs that are available around the state and see if those can be used to refinance people out of vulnerable situations," he said.

Also, stay in touch with your mortgage lender or landlord. Keep them updated on your situation, and take advantage of the moratorium while you can to push off payments for now.

If you’re in a sticky situation with your mortgage or rent payments, talk to someone and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Mid City Redevelopment Alliance can counsel you to help point your housing situation in the right direction.

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