By Bill Shields

BOSTON (CBS) — If you have mortgage payments due and are now unemployed because of the coronavirus outbreak, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and many regional banks have come up with a plan to help. You can now defer payments for three months due to a partnership with a dozen housing lenders.

“No one should have to worry about losing their home right now,” Walsh said Thursday during a news conference. “Anyone who needs help with their payments because of this pandemic should contact their lender directly and tell them you need their help.”

“This is for anyone with a residential home loan, I’m not talking business customers, if they are experiencing hardship because they got furloughed or laid off or whatever, somehow affected by COVID-19. That’s the key,” said Laura Dorfman of Dedham Savings Bank.

Additionally, the three months of deferred payments will not have to be paid back in a lump sum, they’ll just be added into the mortgage, along with the interest.

“These programs really are just to offer some of our customers some relief,” said Kim Downey if SALEM Five Bank. “They’re not forgiveness, they’re just forbearance of monthly payments.”

And it won’t hurt the banks, which were devastated in 2008. It’s a win-win, says Frank Lemieux of Lemieux Financial Services.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to save some money in these uncertain times,” he said.

A new CBS poll shows 29% of Americans are more concerned about paying their mortgage or rent now than they were before the coronavirus crisis began.

Bill Shields

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