The governor of Florida has extended the eviction moratorium, again. 31 August 2020 is the new date before landlords can look to the courts to pursue evictions.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, Florida enacted an official rule that no one could be displaced from their home. As a result, Many tenants either can not pay or choose not to pay their rent/mortgage. Some have anxiety and fear of not knowing when they will be able to return to work and feed their families. However, this rule was not meant to be permanent, and some homeowners are starting to feel the pressure to pay up. For those who can’t pay rent or mortgages, tumultuous times are likely ahead.
Please click HERE to read my previous Blog about the initial stay on evictions.
Renters advocates are now saying that there will be a record amount of evictions on the books for residents who fell behind on rent and mortgage payments as a result of job loss. This unprecedented occurrence is one that many people are fighting against, in any way they are able to. Job loss is still not at full recovery and millions are still without work. Depending on your field of expertise, small businesses may not return. Many experts predict that 15% of small businesses will not re-open.
Is the extension going to cause problems?
Officials halted any eviction notice presented to victims of the worldwide pandemic. Looking at it from both a moral and legal standpoint, many say it is the right thing to do. Government officials are encouraging all of Florida’s landlords to work out agreements with each tenant who is behind on rent payments. The underlying concern officials have is that some unscrupulous landlords will engage in illegal tactics to get their tenants to pay what they owe or find another place to live.
Avoiding eviction may not always work out for everyone. However, the Florida Governor has committed to helping Floridians find solutions. Judges in Polk County, Florida are still virtually hearing foreclosure complaints. Click HERE to get the updated news from the Polk County Courts. Homelessness is not ideal in any city or state. September 2020 may see an influx of homelessness if we do nothing. Can you weigh in and come up with solutions? After all, this pandemic created many problems that tie into each other. You can not fix one thing without affecting another issue.
Finding solutions now to avoid homelessness is necessary.
First, there may be some hope for Florida residents who are in danger of being evicted from their homes. Solutions to massive evictions need to involve the federal and state governments. A new national disaster may occur if massive evictions take place. Not everyone living in federal housing may be exempt from the mass evictions that are expected to occur. Programs are on the table for consideration and many officials are trying to ensure families are not displaced.
Second, anyone with a federally backed mortgage would have longer to pay than previously allotted. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages cannot force owners to pay their entire amount owed in one lump sum. Mortgage Companies need to offer payment plans over a period of time. Another option would be to put the past due amounts onto the back of the original loan. New papers would, of course, need to be drawn up with the promise to pay. However, I recommend you take the time to read the fine print of any loan documents you sign.
August 31st will come quickly
FHA mortgage holders currently have until the end of August to pay the mortgage due, including those who have a reverse mortgage. Mortgage companies have been told to suspend any foreclosures currently in the works. Initiating new foreclosures and evictions has been suspended at this time by the government officials. This is due to the backlog already in the court systems. Many landlords and mortgage companies are initiating the paperwork required with the courts. They are bidding the time when the courts can follow through with the evictions or foreclosures.
Finally, The Federal Housing Finance Agency is encouraging mortgage companies to offer payment deferral options for government loans. This allows more than half of homeowners to consider options that best fit their needs. Many banks may try to impose late fees and higher interest rates in order to make up for their losses. This epidemic has affected all business operations, including banks. Many banks have their own eligibility criteria for loan repayment purposes. These specific criteria may kick many homeowners to the curb. The local and federal governments may need to step in if this proves to be detrimental to tenants and homeowners.
Will homelessness rise? It remains to be seen whether the eviction moratorium in Florida will help or harm its citizens. Many landlords are concerned that their tenants will take advantage of the moratorium if those tenants were behind on rent payments before COVID-19 struck. Finding a balance for those tenants previously behind may require detailed paperwork from landlords. The courts will follow the law and make proper judgments based on each case. Keep in mind, adjustments are not always a permanent position. You never want something to burn out. If the system can not recover and the end result is worse than where we started, we remain stagnant.