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What Is the Status of Florida Evictions and Foreclosures Due to COVID-19?

Posted on in Real Estate

Broward County real estate attorney foreclosure

Since COVID-19 shut down the U.S. economy in March of 2020, the state and federal governments have been trying to pick up the pieces. The virus’s high rate of contagion forced businesses to close their doors and citizens to remain in their households. For some businesses, this meant working remotely for the time being, while others were hit especially hard and have had to make difficult decisions regarding layoffs, furloughs, and even closing their doors for good. Without a steady income, Americans everywhere have struggled to make ends meet, especially when it comes to paying costly rent and mortgage bills.

Flash-forward six months later and legislation is continuing to be made to avoid mass homelessness across the country. Florida has seen an exceedingly high number of positive cases and the state has closed and reopened a few times since March. With 623,471 positive cases and 11,331 deaths in Florida alone at the time of this writing, Governor DeSantis has recognized and addressed Floridians’ financial difficulties in the midst of the pandemic. Foreclosures and evictions are on the horizon for many Floridians, but Gov. DeSantis continues to put off the inevitable for many.

The Suspension Is Extended

Many states, including Florida, have enacted eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. In general, this legislation restricts landlords and creditors’ ability to kick people out of their homes for being unable to pay their rent or mortgage. In Florida, the original moratorium went into effect on April 2. Since then, Gov. DeSantis has continued to extend the moratorium each month, changing its terms slightly to match the situation of the pandemic. The Florida governor has made a habit of putting off this decision until the night before the new month begins, leaving landlords, tenants, and homeowners unsure of what the next month will bring.

Before announcing his decision to extend the moratorium to October 1, the number of eviction cases filed rose to new heights. According to reports from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, landlords in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade Counties filed 2,170 eviction cases just in the month of August. When comparing the numbers from previous months, this is much higher than any other month since the moratorium began. With a predicted 749,000 Florida households risking eviction over the next four months, Gov. DeSantis extended the moratorium to last another month. 

Do I Qualify?

Just because the moratorium was extended does not necessarily mean that all tenants and homeowners are safe from being removed from their homes. The scope of the moratorium has decreased since July, so it is important to know if your financial situation warrants protection against eviction or foreclosure. The executive order applies only to those who have been “adversely affected” by COVID-19. You may be thinking, who has not been adversely affected? The impact that the moratorium encompasses includes a loss of employment, diminished business income, wages, or other financial losses occurring during the Florida State of Emergency. In other words, if you were behind on rent or mortgage payments before the pandemic, and COVID-19 has significantly worsened your circumstances, you may not qualify. It is always best to speak with a reputable real estate attorney to determine your eligibility.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale, FL Foreclosure Defense Lawyer 

Southern Florida, including Broward County, has seen a large spike in eviction cases, and impending foreclosures are likely not far behind. COVID-19 has brought on unprecedented financial burdens to Florida homeowners and renters, and the statewide moratorium will only last so long. At Elliot Legal Group, P.A., we help homeowners get ahead of the foreclosure process. If you are late with mortgage payments, our qualified Broward County real estate attorney can guide you through these tough financial challenges. Regardless of where you are in the foreclosure process, call our office today at 754-332-2101 to discuss your circumstances and avoid losing your home.

 

Sources:

https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2020/09/01/1-state-180-days-623471-infections-11331-deaths/

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/coronavirus/fl-bz-are-evictions-piling-up-in-the-courts-while-desantis-decides-20200828-eiiyvfkh5jam3poo3cjed2rhpu-story.html

https://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2020/09/01/desantis-extends-eviction-foreclosure-moratorium.html

 

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