The federal eviction moratorium expired over the weekend, and it’s important to know how that may affect you and your family.
Over 12 million renters across the U.S. are currently at risk of eviction as the federal eviction moratorium that was protecting them has now expired after four months. The moratorium protected renters from being forced to move out due to unpaid rent in relation to the coronavirus.
The federal moratorium has specifically protected renters who live in homes that were purchased (by the landlord) with a federal mortgage loan, as it prohibited landlords from filing evictions.
While some renters were able to keep paying rent due to expanded unemployment benefits, those benefits are being drastically reduced just as the moratorium is being lifted. The expiration of both the eviction protection and sizable unemployment checks has the potential to wreak havoc on millions of families.
About 110 million Americans are renters, and about 20 percent of them could be facing eviction at the end of September. If you’re one of those people, it’s important to set a plan in place to protect yourself from being sued by your landlord.
Many Americans are facing the threat of homelessness due to an impending influx of eviction filings this coming fall.
1.) Create a financial plan. First, it’s important to note that even if you were protected from eviction over the past four months, you still owe your landlord the rent that wasn’t paid for the months of April, May, June, and July.
The moratorium was set so that landlords weren’t allowed to evict tenants due to unpaid rent (due to the economic impact of the pandemic), but the total unpaid amount has to be paid back.
It’s crucial to have that money set aside in order to avoid being evicted at the end of this month.
2.) Find out when the back rent is due. Even though the federal eviction ban expired this past Friday (July 31st, 2020), the landlords who are part of that eviction ban have an obligation to give 30 days’ notice to their renters before officially going to the local court to file an eviction.
So at the very least, you have until the end of August to pay your past due rent.
In addition to that, there are different eviction bans in each state, which may give people more time. Unfortunately for Kentuckians, the statewide eviction moratorium that was set in place by Governor Andy Beshear has now expired alongside the federal one.
On July 27th, the Kentucky Supreme Court officially gave Kentucky courts permission to recommence the acceptance of eviction filings. Bottom line? If you owe past due rent in Louisville, it’s due this month.
3.) Can’t pay your back rent? Weigh your options. The first thing that you should do is contact your landlord, and let them know that you can’t pay the lump sum at once. In Additionally, inquire about setting up a repayment plan.
For example, if your rent is $800 a month, and you owe four months’ worth ($3,200), ask if you can make payments toward that with your regular rent check moving forward. If you can afford to pay $1,000 a month for rent, ask your landlord if you can put the extra $200 a month toward your past due rent.
It’s worth it to ask because most landlords would rather keep a renter who is responsible and making an effort to repay as opposed to filing an eviction and trying to find a new renter.
If a repayment plan isn’t feasible at this point or if your landlord won’t agree to that, you could file for bankruptcy, especially if you have other debts that you can’t pay back.
If you want to stay in your rental, you could put your past due rent in a Chapter 13 plan. As soon as you file a Chapter 13, it will stop the eviction proceedings, and prevent your landlord from suing you. You’ll list your landlord as a creditor, and pay all of your back rent (plus any other unpaid debts) over a five-year period.
As long as you make your Chapter 13 payments on time every month and pay them in full, and also stay current on your rent payments (outside of the Chapter 13 plan), your landlord can’t evict you.
If you’re already being evicted and have to move, you can file a Chapter 7 to discharge the balance that you owe on a past due eviction, as well as any other debts.
For most Louisville residents, things are stressful right now financially, and I want you to know that I’m here to help. If you have questions about unpaid debt and past due rent, or you’re facing foreclosure or car repossession due to COVID, bankruptcy could be a viable option for you.
I am more than happy to discuss your options with you during a free consultation. You can text me or call me at (502) 435-2593, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can get through this together!
All the best,
Tracy L. Hirsch
Need a free consultation? Text or call me at (502) 435-2593!