‘A Bargain With the Devil’—Bill Comes Due for Overextended Airbnb Hosts

Entrepreneurs built mini-empires of short-term rental properties, borrowing against revenue that’s now vanishing under coronavirus lockdowns

Gig workers are playing a bigger role in the American economy during the global pandemic. WSJ's Gerald F. Seib explores whether their eligibility for unemployment insurance will continue after the virus passes. Photo: Justin Heiman/Getty Images

香蕉视频苹果下载For years, Cheryl Dopp considered the ding on her phone from a new Airbnb Inc. booking to be the sound of what she called “magical money.” A property she rented out in Jersey City, N.J., on Airbnb could gross more than $8,000 a month, she said, double what long-term tenants would pay.

Now, Ms. Dopp associates the dings with cancellations and financial misery. The 54-year-old information-technology contractor said she had about $10,000 in bookings evaporate overnight in March. She has $22,000 in monthly expenses for a largely...