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A view of a sign saying, "Cancel the Rent," during the coronavirus pandemic on May 18, 2020, in Brooklyn. (AP) A view of a sign saying, "Cancel the Rent," during the coronavirus pandemic on May 18, 2020, in Brooklyn. (AP)

A view of a sign saying, "Cancel the Rent," during the coronavirus pandemic on May 18, 2020, in Brooklyn. (AP)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher May 20, 2020

No, there’s no COVID-19 law that requires rent (or mortgage) refunds

If Your Time is short

  • A bill has been introduced in the House that would require rent and mortgage payment refunds, as well as forgiveness on future payments, while COVID-19 remains a national emergency. But no action has yet been taken on the bill.

More coronavirus cash?

That’s the claim of a Facebook post that reads, in common online lingo:

"If u paid rent in March or April they got to give money bak."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Sorry, there won’t be any check in the mail — for rent or mortgage payments — at least, not the way things stand now. 

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The April 22 post includes a screenshot of part of a news article published two days earlier by WHBQ, a Memphis TV station. 

The article reported on a bill introduced April 17 by U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., that affects your primary residence — whether you rent or own.

Had it become law, H.R. 6515, also called the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, would have meant that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would have cut you a check for any rent or mortgage payment you had made for April (or later months, if you’re someone who pays ahead).

Also, you would not owe any rent or mortgage payments until 30 days after the end date of the COVID-19 emergency declaration signed by President Donald Trump. 

As it is, though, no action has yet been taken on the bill, other than it being referred to the House Committee on Financial Service. A service used by GovTrack.us, which tracks legislation, says the bill has a 4% chance of being passed.

This post makes it sound like it’s a done deal. We rate it False.

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More by Tom Kertscher

No, there’s no COVID-19 law that requires rent (or mortgage) refunds

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