New York State is directing banks to waive mortgage payments for 90 days for those facing financial hardship with no negative effect to the borrower’s credit score, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference this morning.

Banks are directed to waive mortgage payments to those who are out of work or whose work has been reduced, Cuomo said.

“Making a mortgage payment can be one of the number one stressors,” Cuomo said. “Eliminating that stressor for 90 days, I think, will go a long way.”

There will be no negative reporting to credit bureaus, he said, so there will be no effect on the borrower’s credit score. There will also be no late payment fees or online payment fees.

A grace period would extend the loan so that the waived mortgage payments can be tacked on to the end of the loan.

Foreclosures will also be postponed or suspended, Cuomo said.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus coverage, closings and cancellations.

In addition to mortgage relief, banks in New York State will waive fees for overdrafts, ATMs and credit cards, Cuomo said.

New York this week rolled out dramatic restrictions to reduce density and stop the rapid spread of coronavirus across the state, including the closures of many non-essential businesses, limiting restaurants and bars to take-out and delivery and reducing today the number of workers allowed on-site at most businesses to 25%, with exceptions for essential services like food, healthcare and pharmacy.

These restrictions, along with similar measures across the country, have resulted in thousands of layoffs nationwide, with 70,000 new employment claims being filed between March 8 and March 14, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Cuomo says these decisions are crucial to “flattening the curve” of coronavirus cases in New York, where the influx of patients is expected to overwhelm the state’s hospital system within weeks.

Almost 2,000 new positive cases were reported today in New York, bringing the state’s total to 4,152, up from 2,382 yesterday.

Of the state’s cases, 178 are in Suffolk County, 372 are in Nassau and 2,469 are in New York City.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Katie Blasl
Katie, winner of the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year award from the L.I. Press Club, is a reporter, editor and web developer for the LOCAL news websites. A Riverhead native, she is a 2014 graduate of Stony Brook University. Email Katie