Evictions and Moratoriums: What are your rights as a homeowner or renter?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused worldwide public health issues and economic impacts. Due to shelter in place orders, quarantines, virus-spreading, school closures, and other factors related to the novel coronavirus, many people throughout the US have been unable to work. This has resulted not only in large numbers of unemployment claims in the state of Florida but also in housing insecurity due to loss of income.
Many state governments have acted quickly to implement more broad-based eviction and utility shut off moratorium laws, along with foreclosure bans. On April 2, Florida Gov Ron Desantis announced the ban on residential foreclosures and evictions until October 1. This ban applied only to homeowners and renters who were not able to pay their mortgages or rent because of the pandemic.
It’s important to keep in mind that these protections generally do not relieve tenants or homeowners of the obligation to pay their rent or mortgage, but only suspend the ability of landlords or lenders to file new evictions or foreclosures, or enforce orders to vacate properties.
Florida's eviction moratorium was set to expire Oct. 1, however Governor Ron DeSantis' office announced Sept. 30 that it would not extend the order. Despite Gov. Desantis not extending the moratorium, there were actions taken on the federal level as well that provided additional relief from eviction and foreclosure that are still keeping residents in their homes.
This relief will not last forever though. When the bans expire it is important to know what the rights of a homeowner or renter are. These persons are still required to pay rent and follow all the other terms of their lease and rules of the place where they live. These persons may also still be evicted for reasons other than not paying rent or making a housing payment. Additionally, the banks may be able to expedite foreclosures if they can show that the default was not directly related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Here are some quick tips to remember when dealing with this situation:
As your bank or landlord for an itemized statement to determine where you stand financially.
Request a breakdown of any interest and fees that may have accrued since your last payment.
If you have not been making payment, be sure to find out specifically what type of relief the lender or landlord afforded you during the pandemic. Were you given an Abatement? A Defferrement? A Modification?
Contact an attorney to find out how the information you just received impacts your specific situation.
Our firm’s attorneys are here to help you navigate through these challenging times and contend with the issues surrounding the current state of evictions, foreclosures, and property transactions.
The Wynn Law Firm has over 40 years of experience in creatively and efficiently addressing the needs of every client who walks through our doors. This dedication and experience allows us to address any type of possible bankruptcy need you may have regardless of how simple or complex it may be. Contact us today to see for yourself the relief and protection that bankruptcy can provide to your situation.