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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For many people who've lost jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow presents a stressful decision: Do you pay your rent or mortgage?

Why it matters: The new CARES Act that was signed by President Trump on Friday protects homeowners and renters who are suffering from the response to the coronavirus pandemic — but it's not “a one-size-fits-all policy rulebook,” a congressional aide tells Axios.

  • The bill prohibits foreclosures and evictions on all federally supported mortgage loans (including those owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) for a 60-day period that began on March 18.
  • Landlords are prohibited from evicting tenants and charging late fees and penalties for those in federally backed housing for 120 days.

The big picture: For those laid off, furloughed, or whose incomes have plummeted because of the response to the coronavirus outbreak, we've put together a guide.

  • Check with your landlord, bank or mortgage company to see if they’ve adopted leniency policies. 
  • See if your city or state is among those that have suspended eviction proceedings — your payment obligations don’t go away, but you will have a measure of protection.

Between the lines: Personal finance experts recommend looking at your entire financial picture and cash flow situation before deciding whether to skip a rent or mortgage payment.

  • Prioritize your immediate necessities: food, medicine, utilities, health insurance.
  • Piled-up rent or mortgage bills aren’t going to go away, so consider tapping emergency savings to cover them.

Under the CARES Act, adults will receive payments of up to $1,200 in as little as three weeks, and most children will get $500.

  • The new law makes it easier to tap retirement accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s for up to $100,000 in cash: Early withdrawal penalties for IRAs are temporarily waived, as are tax penalties for borrowing against a 401(k) or similar plan.
  • Using your retirement money as a piggy bank isn’t always the best option, since you’re selling when the market is at a low point and you'll miss out on possible future gains. Alternatives include a personal loan, a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. 

Go deeper: Advice from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.

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