Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Rangely Garcia / Money

Although the housing market is booming, high unemployment means millions of Americans are struggling to make mortgage payments. More than 2.3 million homeowners remain 90 or more days past due on their mortgages, but not in foreclosure, according to Black Knight, a mortgage analytics company.

Foreclosure and eviction protections under the CARES Act have provided some relief for homeowners with distressed finances. But once forbearance protections run out, the biggest fear is there will be a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Here are nine predictions from housing industry experts on the likelihood of a foreclosure crisis. (The text has been lightly edited.)

Christie Peale

Who she is: CEO of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods

What she expects: We expect a significant increase in foreclosures unless federal and state governments implement serious measures to assist homeowners.

Her reasoning: In March 2021, government-mandated forbearance periods for millions of homeowners will end. Even with a dramatic improvement in the overall economy, many of those households will have less income than before the pandemic. This will leave them in a difficult financial bind when their mortgage payments, based on their previous income, resume. Without a major intervention, many of these families will face foreclosure. What could an intervention look like? The House of Representatives has proposed significant improvements to forbearance plans and billions of dollars in assistance for homeowners in the form of a homeowner assistance fund.

With the support of the Senate and president, these measures could prevent financial distress and stave off a new foreclosure crisis. Without them, we have serious concerns about how COVID-affected families will fare in the spring and summer of 2021, particularly Black and Latinx families, whom we know have experienced the most income loss and highest infection rates during the pandemic.

Ralph McLaughlin