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Report: Millions of Americans missed rent/mortgage payments in September

"It’s a terrible situation," said Sarah Schindler, a property law professor at the University of Maine School of Law.

PORTLAND, Maine — The pandemic has made it a challenging time for both renters and landlords.

In fact, more than 6 million people nationwide did not make their rent or mortgage payment, across the U.S., just last month alone.

That's according to newly released research from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Right now, there is a federal moratorium on evictions through the end of this year.

However, that doesn't mean the rent or mortgage is no longer due it will eventually have to be paid back.

Places like Portland have created a rent relief program.

RELATED: COVID-19 Rent Relief Program expanded to help prevent evictions

For landlords, there is an option under the CARES Act.

We talked to Sarah Schindler, a property law professor and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Maine School of Law about what that means for landlords.

"In many ways, the CARES Act protection for homeowners is much stronger than protection for tenants," Schindler said. 

"So folks who own homes, can actually, they have the possibility of having forbearance on their mortgage so they don't actually have to be paying their mortgage payments right now as long as they've talked to their mortgage company about that."

Forbearance also doesn't mean your payments are forgiven. 

They will eventually have to be paid back over time.

Schindler says having open communication between landlords and tenants is key to getting through this time.

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RELATED: Gov. Mills and MaineHousing extend COVID-19 Rent Relief Program to cover month of June