Monday, May 04, 2020 3:01 p.m. CDT by Thomson Reuters

By Matt Scuffham

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. mortgage firms facing billions of dollars of missed home loan repayments are continuing to push for emergency government support as data published Monday showed a further rise in borrowers asking to halt payments.

The number of people seeking to have mortgage payments paused or reduced rose to 7.5% as of April 26 from 7.0% a week earlier as the economic effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak stretched household finances, figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) showed. The MBA estimates that 3.8 million homeowners are now in forbearance.

The surge in delayed payments could leave mortgage service companies, which pool home loans and sell them to investors,

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