Recent Developments Regarding Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums:

On August 31, 2020, Florida Governor Ron Desantis extended until October 1, 2020 his Executive Order suspending and tolling final actions in mortgage foreclosures and eviction proceeds for non-payment of rent for Floridians who experienced loss of employment, diminished wages or business income, or other monetary loss due to the Covid-19 Emergency. 

On September 1, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued an Order declaring a national moratorium on certain residential evictions for nonpayment of rent until December 31, 2020. The Order prohibits landlords of residential properties from evicting persons who provide a sworn declaration of their inability to pay rent or other housing payments due to substantial loss of income or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses. Each tenant in a household who wishes to be covered by the CDC Order must sign and deliver to their landlord a form declaration which states under penalty of perjury that:

1.      the tenant used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;

2.      the tenant expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for the calendar year 2020 (or  no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), was not required to report any income in 2019 to the IRS, or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check);

3.      the tenant is unable to pay full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensatable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out -of-pocket medical expenses;

4.      the tenant is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit, taking into account other non-discretionary expenses;

5.      that if evicted, the tenant would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options;

6.      the tenant understands that they must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations under the tenancy, lease agreement or similar contract. The tenancy further understands that fees, penalties, or interest for not payment rent or making a housing payment on time as required by the tenancy, lease agreement or similar contract may still be charged or collected;

7.      the tenancy understands that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on December 31, 2020, the housing provider may required payment in full for all payments no made prior to and during the temporary halt and failure to pay may make the tenant subject to eviction pursuant to State and local laws; and

8.      the tenant understands that any false or misleading statements or omissions may result in criminal and civil actions for finds, penalties, damages, or imprisonment.

The Order does not prevent evictions based on a tenant, lessee, or resident: (1) engaging in criminal activity while on the premises; (2) threatening the health or safety of other residents; (3) damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; (4) violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or (5) violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).”

On August 27, 2020, servicing guidelines from Fannie Mea, Freddie Mac, VA, USADA, and FHA extended the CARES Act foreclosure moratorium until at least December 31, 2020.

This information provided by Florida Rural Legal Services Housing and Consumer Advocacy Group Leaders Monica Bello, Esq. and Michelle Trunkett, Esq.

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