Conferees representing the House and Senate have agreed on the terms of an eviction and foreclosure moratorium. The full House has already accepted the conference report. The conference report does still need final approval by the Senate (which is expected tomorrow) and by the Governor. The full text of the bill can be reviewed here.
Update: Implementing Regulations now appear at this link, including forms for tenants and landlords.
Term of the moratorium
- Takes effect immediately upon passage.
- Ends the sooner of
- 120 days from passage or
- 45 days after the lifting of the COVID-19 emergency.
- May be extended by the governor in increments of not more than 90 days, but not further than 45 days after lifting of the emergency.
Features as to evictions
- Broadly defines the concept of “non-essential evictions” to include evictions
- for non-payment of rent;
- resulting from a foreclosure;
- for no fault or no cause; or
- for cause that does not involve or include allegations of activity that may impact the health or safety of other residents or others.
- Imposes a moratorium on court filings or court action on non-essential evictions and tolls all pending deadlines for actions required by parties in non-essential eviction cases.
- Applies moratorium to both small business or residential evictions, defining small business as in-state privately held companies with less than 150 employees.
- Prohibits sheriffs and others from enforcing execution of eviction orders.
- For residential tenants, prohibits landlords even from sending notices requesting that a tenant vacate a premise.
- Does not relieve a tenant of the obligation to pay the rent due — it just temporarily prevents enforcement of the right to collect past due rent.
- Allows a landlord to apply a deposit of last month’s rent to cover expenses if tenant is not paying rent. This was the law already, but the bill reconfirms it.
- Prohibits penalties or negative credit reporting if the tenant provides notice and documentation to the landlord that the non-payment of rent was due to a financial impact from COVID-19.
Features as to foreclosures
- Applies only to owner-occupied residential properties with 4 or fewer units.
- Prohibits mortgagees from taking steps to foreclose.
- Requires forbearance (the restructuring of mortgage obligations to defer payment)
- for not more than 180 days without penalty;
- if the mortgagor submits a request to the mortgagor’s servicer affirming that the mortgagor has experienced a financial impact from COVID-19;
- deferred payments are to be added to the end of the term of the mortgage.
- Prohibits negative credit reporting for payments subject to forbearance.
Please note, comments below dated before April 15 were in response to any earlier version of the bill. Thank you to all who commented. Many of your comments have been reflected in the final version above.