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Updates on Statewide Foreclosure and Eviction Moratoria

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the impetus for federal foreclosure prevention measures. Many states also have taken their own measures. The legal-news site JDSupra has provided a summary of the most-recent statewide foreclosure and eviction moratoria updates.

Its updates specifically examine extensions or expirations of relating to properties in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas:

  • California: The  California legislature enacted the Tenant, Homeowner, and Small Landlord Relief and Stabilization Act of 2020 (AB 3088) on August 31, 2020. Among other provisions, the Act protects tenants who have suffered a COVID-related hardship from eviction until February 1, 2021. If the hardship arose between March 4 and August 31, 2020, the tenant needs to provide a declaration of hardship under penalty of perjury, and tenants earning more than $100,000 a year must provide documentation to support their declaration upon a landlord’s request. 
  • Florida: On October 1, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., Florida’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium established by Executive Order 20-180 expired. Governor Desantis cited the CDC’s eviction order to explain this decision, stating that Executive Order 20-180 “was permitted to expire to avoid any confusion over whether the CDC’s evictions order should apply in a particular circumstance.” ... Thus, subject to other restrictions, foreclosures in Florida can now proceed to judgment and sale.
  • Massachusetts: The Massachusetts moratorium on foreclosures and evictions expired on October 17, 2020. On October 5, 2020, the Massachusetts Trial Court issued Standing Order 6-20, which modifies the eviction process in Massachusetts for pending matters and the filing of new matters. In pending matters, the Order creates a two-tier process: (1) an initial Case Status via videoconference or telephone to determine the applicability of the CDC’s Order and to discuss mediation; (2) for cases that do not resolve, a trial date will be issued ... There are thousands of eviction cases which are backlogged in Massachusetts. Given the CDC Order in effect through December 31, 2020, and the restrictions set forth in the Standing Order, the backlog will continue through the end of the year.
  • New York: On October 4, 2020, by Executive Order 202.67, Governor Cuomo continued the temporary suspension of “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as described by the procedural laws of the state,” as set forth in previous Executive Orders (specifically 202.8, 202.14, 202.28, 202.38, 202.48, 202.55, 202.60, and 202.67) for actions in the New York State Courts until November 3, 2020. For any civil case, the suspension is effective until November 3, 2020, after which any time limit to bring an action will no longer be tolled without a further order. As a result, no defaults in civil practice are currently permitted.
  • Texas: To date, Texas has not instituted a state-wide order banning foreclosures, although some counties and cities have done so. With regard to evictions, on September 17, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court entered Emergency Order 25, which strengthens the CDC protections against evictions for 60 days by requiring citations to include language informing tenants of their ability to stay eviction for 60 days by executing and filing a declaration regarding their efforts to mitigate.

For more detail on each of these states' provisions, visit the full article at JDSupra.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.

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