COVID-19 EVICTION AND FORECLOSURE MORATORIUMS

Simon PLC Attorneys & Counselors – Supplemental Interim April 2020 Memorandum

COVID-19 EVICTION AND FORECLOSURE MORATORIUMS

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan – The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted almost every part of our daily lives, and court proceedings and enforcement actions are not an exception.  Many of the states have implemented restrictions on evictions and foreclosures during this national public health crisis.  On the federal level, the CARES Act has created a minimum of a sixty (60) day hold on foreclosure proceedings, beginning on March 18, 2020, related to all federally backed mortgages which includes those loans that are owned, insured or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, FHA or USDA.  The CARES Act also includes provisions prohibiting evictions in buildings that participate in federal housing programs or that are secured by federally backed mortgages.  Under the CARES Act, the landlord for these buildings may not commence an eviction action for a 120-day period beginning on March 27, 2020.  Below are additional orders or restrictions enacted by the jurisdictions serviced by Simon PLC Attorneys & Counselors:

Arizona

On March 24, 2020, Governor Ducey signed Executive Order 2020-14 – Postponement of Eviction Actions (https://azgovernor.gov/sites/default/files/eo_2020-14_0.pdf), which requires postponement of eviction actions for a 120-day period.  The order is not a blanket postponement, however, and only applies when the following information is documented to the landlord or property owner in writing:

1. The tenant has been diagnosed with COVID-19;

2. The tenant has been ordered to self-quarantine on the advice of a licensed medical professional based on CDC guidelines related to COVID-19;

3. The tenant is required to self-quarantine because another member of their household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;

4. The tenant has a disease or condition that puts them at high risk for complications if they were to contract COVID-19 as outlined in CDC guidelines; or

5. The tenant experienced a substantial loss in income due to COVID-19 as defined in the order.

Florida

On April 2, 2020, Governor Desantis signed Executive Order 20-94 – Emergency Management – COVID-19 – Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief (https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-94.pdf), which mandates suspension of all mortgage foreclosure actions for a 45-day period beginning on the date of execution of the order.  The order also tolls the time for filing of a mortgage foreclosure action during the pendency of the order.  Evictions are also suspended for a 45-day period.  However, the eviction suspension only applies to non-payment of rent by residential tenants.

Illinois

On March 20, 2020, Governor Pritzker signed COVDID-19 Executive Order No. 8 (https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/Executive-Orders/ExecutiveOrder2020-10.aspx) which orders all local law enforcement officers in Illinois to stop execution of all eviction orders for residential premises while the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation remains in effect.

Michigan

On April 17, 2020, Governor Whitmer rescinded Executive Order 2020-19 and instituted Executive Order 2020-54 (https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-526305–,00.html) which implements a ban on evictions of tenants for residential properties through May 15, 2020.  The order does contain an exception to the ban and allows for evictions when the tenant occupying the property poses a “substantial risk to another person or an imminent and severe risk to property.”

New York

On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo executed Executive Order No. 202.8 (https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/EO_202.8.pdf) which implemented a ban on foreclosures and evictions for a period of 90 days beginning on the date of execution of the order.  The foreclosure and eviction ban is applicable to both commercial and residential properties.

Ohio

On March 27, 2020, the Ohio Supreme Court entered 03/27/2020 Administrative Actions, 2020-Ohio-1166 (https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/0/2020/2020-Ohio-1166.pdf) which included a retroactive effective date of March 9, 2020.  The order tolled all court deadlines until the state of emergency ends in the state of Ohio or July 30, 2020, whichever is sooner.  The entrance of this order came after the Ohio legislature passed Ohio H.B. 197 (https://connect.bricker.com/292/1338/uploads/hb-197-section-22.pdf)  which tolls all civil statutory deadlines within the same time frames as the order issued by the Ohio Supreme Court.  There is no prohibition from commencing an eviction or foreclosure action at this time, however, due to the tolling order and statute, all actions are effectively on hold.

Texas

The Supreme Court of Texas has suspended all eviction activity through April 30, 2020 as stated by order dated April 6, 2020 and entered on Misc. Docket No. 20-9052 (https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1446345/209052.pdf).  The order does not prohibit new cases filings, however, the issuance and service of a citation may not occur until after the order expires.  The order is applicable to only residential properties.  There is an exception to allow evictions where it is demonstrated that the tenant poses an imminent threat of physical harm to the landlord or other tenants or if it is shown there is criminal activity at the residence.

Beyond the orders issued at the state and federal level, many counties and municipalities have enacted their own orders and regulations in response to the health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19.  Prior to proceeding to file any eviction, foreclosure or any civil suit, it is advisable to review all local regulations related to civil actions and ensure compliance.  The eviction and foreclosure moratoriums are in a state of flux as each jurisdiction deals with their response to this public health crisis.  Simon PLC is ready to assist with navigating the rules and regulations surrounding these issues at this difficult time.  Prior to commencing any actions for eviction or foreclosure, please contact our office to discuss your rights and remedies.

We are prepared to advise clients to successfully enforce their rights and remedies. Contact us at any time to be connected with litigation and default servicing advice: simonattys.com

N.B. Not Legal Advice: Please contact us if you would like to discuss the facts and circumstances of your specific matter. Simon PLC Attorneys & Counselors expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this memorandum. The information contained herein may not reflect current legal developments and is provided without any knowledge as to the recipient’s location, industry, identity or specific circumstances. No recipients of this content, clients or otherwise, should act, or refrain from acting, on the basis of any content included in this memorandum without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the jurisdiction for which the recipient’s legal issue(s) involve. The application and impact of relevant laws varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and our attorneys do not seek to practice law in states, territories and foreign countries where they are not properly authorized to do so.

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