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Can I be evicted during the pandemic?

I’ve done a few shows on COVID-related topics and payment relief options during COVID. The CARES Act addressed a lot of these relief options, as you might now.

Today we are talking specifically about rent payments during COVID-19. What to do if you can’t pay your rent, what are your relief options, your rights, and will you get evicted? Those are the questions we are answering today but before we do, first, Watch this video on what to do when your stimulus check runs out: https://www.facebook.com/creditanddebt.org/videos/747637762441435/ And if you missed my live on Friday last week, and still haven’t received your stimulus check, watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNagbQFkxPw

So, let’s dive into COVID-19 and your rent options and evictions, if you’re facing one. The situation is getting more complicated and confusing day-by-day so we did the research and have the most up-to-date information for you on your relief options and rights in regards to what laws can help you stay in your home as you weather the financial crisis — and when do those protections expire? 

We are going to talk about the CARES Act protections, and protections outside of that, state-by-state. So, if you’re facing trouble paying rent or your mortgage now or think you will be in the coming months, this is the video for you. 

Let’s dive into the CARES Act. The CARES Act provides protections for tenants until late July, but the rules only apply to properties that have government-backed loans. Because of this, actually applying the law, becomes tricky. Some landlords are still delivering eviction notices. So, if you are now or in the future facing issues, you should look into your property on your own to ensure you’re protected. 

If you’re not covered by the CARES act, you might be covered by local or state moratoriums, but those are also set or starting to expire. Some have started expiring in May and others, like New York’s – which has 8.2 mil  renters- will end in Aug 20. So with these deadlines on the horizon, some landlords are on the edge of their seat to file eviction proceedings. 

So what do you do if your eviction protections have expired? Look for other relief options to reallocate some of your finances. Some states and local governments have also put moratoriums into place with protections on utility bills. 

To find all of the local moratoriums for both eviction, rent, and utilities in your area, view this site: https://evictionlab.org/covid-eviction-policies/

You also have options for car payments, which we talked about a couple of weeks ago. Many lenders are offering forbearance and some manufacturers even have options. 

Watch this video if you’re having issues paying your car payment due to COVID-19: https://www.facebook.com/creditanddebt.org/videos/259207491855426/ If you have debt. Credit card debt, personal loan debt, or student loan debt, that takes a big chunk of your income every month, call our coaches. Our coaches can not only help you analyze your finances and make the most of your situation. Plus, if you have debt that you’d like to consolidate, our coaches can help point you in the right direction.

If you have any questions about your covid relief options, you have to check out this tool: https://covid.credit.org/ It’s quick, easy and free and you just tell it what kind of relief you’re looking for and it provides you with the research already done. It’ll give you links to gov’t websites and provide detailed information on many of the CARES Act relief benefits. For example, are you trying to figure out your mortgage forbearance options? This breaks down what’s the CARES Act and where to go to find out if your mortgage is federally backed. Credit cards, Students loans, Small business relief, it’s all on there so definitely check it out. 

So, let’s say you’ve gone through all this, you’re not protected by any of this and your landlord already came knocking on your door. Now what? 

  1. Make sure you know what kind of notice has been delivered. There are a few different things your landlord might have delivered 
    • PAY RENT OR QUIT NOTICE
    • CURE OR QUIT NOTICE
    • Unconditional Quit Notices
      • These terminate your lease, and then your landlord can move forward with your eviction notice.
  2. Know your rights. Most states have laws that protect you by preventing your landlord or property manager from:
    • Change the lock
    • Harass or threaten the tenant
    • Shut off Utilities
    • Hire moving service to remove all tenant belongings
  3. An eviction is actually a law suit, so your landlord has to file with the local court, the court will process it and schedule a hearing date. If the judge rules in the favor the landlord, he will issue a Writ of Possession. A “Writ of Possession” is a document distributed by the court when a judge rules to return possession of the rental property back to the landlord. Here’s the thing, evictions can be a long and expensive process for landlords, so before you get that that point
  4. Communicate with your landlord or property manager
  5. Many landlords and tenants are facing these same uncertainties during the coronavirus pandemic. Because of that, there are options out there for both parties, so make sure you communicate to understand each other and potentially work together to find a solution. 

I hope we answered all of your questions today and if I didn’t and you still have questions, please reach out. So, you can comment on this post. There are a lot of people out there facing these circumstances so please take a moment to hit that thumbs up button and share this!  If you like and share our stuff, we benefit because more people see it and you benefit because if you really do like it, you’ll see it more often. You can also email me at askabby@creditanddebt.org, go follow my FB page, ASK ABBY, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and opt to get notifications on FB when we go live at 12:30 pacific on wednesdays! As always, thank you so much for tuning in and we will see you next week on Ask Abby. 

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