The head of a company that tries to help gig workers get jobs, telemedicine services, and micro-banking products, through a mobile app, looks grim when he talks about what the COVID-19 crisis has done to his company’s customers.
Adam Roseman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Steady Platform Inc., said a survey showed that 27% of Steady program members lost all of their income in mid-March, when the lockdowns rolled in. Another 37% lost somewhere 1% to 50% of their income.
About 40% of the Steady members who lost 50% or more of their income due to the COVID-19 crisis were black.
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Roseman said the situation looks as if it’s about to get much worse: Many state, federal and local crisis aid programs, including temporary bans on evictions, are about to expire on or around July 31.
Programs have given people hit by the crisis more time to make rent or mortgage payments, before eviction or foreclosure proceedings begin, but the programs have simply delayed the due date of the payments for up to three months, not waived the obligations, Roseman said.
Roseman said what the struggling workers will owe will amount to “balloon payments” — large payments due at the end of the terms of loans.
“Think about the balloon payments that have been structured for rent payments now,” Roseman said. ”Those aren’t delayed for three years. They’re delayed for three months. And there’s a balloon coming, very soon. So, how are we going to solve for that?”
Roseman appeared on a panel that was part of the Emerge: Financial Health Forum — a five-day, online web conference aimed at financial services organizations that want to improve the financial health of people and communities.
The conference started today and will run through Friday.
MetLife Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc. appear on the sponsor list along with banks, like Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, and other types of financial services organizations, like PayPal.