FLORIDA EVICTION AND FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM EXPIRED

Governor DeSantis allowed the Florida Moratorium on Eviction and Mortgage Foreclosures to expire on October 1, 2020.  Governor DeSantis stated that he let the Florida Moratorium expire in order to avoid confusion caused by simultaneous state and national moratoriums in Florida.  As a result, the National Eviction Moratorium issued by CDC is the only protection available to Florida tenants behind on their rent.  The CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium expires January 1, 2021. 

Less Protection under the CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium?

The Florida Moratorium applied to tenants behind on rent as well as homeowners behind on their mortgage payments.  The CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium applies only to tenants behind on their rent.  It does not apply to mortgage foreclosures.  As such, those homeowners in Florida facing possible mortgage foreclosure lawsuits do not have any protection under the CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium. 

Foreclosure Moratorium for Federally Backed Mortgages

Florida homeowners may have some relief available to them if their mortgage is federally backed.  The Federal Housing Finance Authority and Department of Housing and Urban Development previously issued a National Foreclosure Moratorium for federally backed mortgages.  Homeowners with federally back mortgages are protected from foreclosure through the end of the year.  Foreclosures of federally backed mortgages cannot be commenced or finalized during this period.  

About 70% of mortgages are federally backed mortgages.  It is believed 28 million borrowers will or have benefited from this moratorium.  However, there are approximately 14.5 million private mortgage loans which are not subject to the moratorium.  You may look up whether your mortgage is federally backed by going to:

CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium

So how does the CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium work?  The National Moratorium prevents landlords from evicting a “covered person” from a residential property for non-payment of rent until January 1, 2021. 

The CDC defines a “covered person” as a tenant who provides to her landlord a declaration that:

  1. Tenant used her best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  2. Tenant meets certain income requirements:
    1. Tenant expects to earn no more than $99,000 for 2020 (no more than $198,000 if filing a joint income tax return);
    1. Tenant was not required to report any income in 2019 to the IRS;
    1. Or, tenant received a Stimulus Check under the CARES Act;
  3. Tenant is unable to pay the full rent due to loss of income or extraordinary medical expenses;
  4. Tenant is using best efforts to make timely partial rent payments;
  5. And, eviction would render the tenant homeless or force her to live a close quarter shared living setting (homeless shelter).

The declaration must be made under penalty of perjury and must be provided to the landlord in order for there to be any protection under the National Moratorium.

Conclusion

The protections afforded by State and Federal governments at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic continue to be whittled down over time.  Whereas all tenants and homeowners were protected under the Florida Moratorium, the CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium and the FHFA and HUD’s Foreclosure Moratoriums are more limited. 

The CDC’s National Eviction Moratorium requires a declaration be provided to your landlord.  It also contains income requirements which may disqualify some tenants.  The FHFA and HUD’s Foreclosure Moratorium applies only to federally backed mortgages leaving those with private mortgage loans on their own.

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