Legal Analysts

Showing posts with label Moratorium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Moratorium. Show all posts

Friday, August 27, 2021

Evictions Evictions - Get Your Evictions - US Supreme Court Opens the Floodgates

On August 27, 2021, the US Supreme Court opened the floodgates for evictions throughout the United States in the case of Alabama Association of Realtors v. DHHS

Landlords, have you called your attorney yet to start the eviction process? 

Investors, are you ready for the housing market to swing because of a flood of inventory? 

Tenants, have you started to make moving arrangements and tried to settle your arrears for less money? 

Wow, can you feel that tsunami coming? 

Make no mistake, this is the first domino to fall in our housing market's shift into a buyer's market on fundamentals. Are you ready? 

For the legal context of what transpired, the CDC had issued a moratorium on evictions in counties with substantial or high levels of COVID-19, which we explained here. That moratorium was thrown-out by the District Court for the District of Columbia, but that Court knew that the issue would get to the Supreme Court so they stayed (a/k/a, paused) the effectiveness of their Order overturning the moratorium until the Supreme Court could weigh-in, which we explained here. Now, the Supreme Court has weighed-in and the eviction moratorium is ineffective, unlawful, and unenforceable. 

To be clear, the Supreme Court did not weigh-in on the policy of an eviction moratorium. They didn't rule as to whether it is a good idea, good policy, or needed for our country. Instead, the Supreme Court ruled "that the statute on which the CDC relies does not grant it the authority it claims." In plain language, the eviction moratorium was thrown-out because the CDC's basis for imposing the moratorium does not afford it that power.

You see, Executive Branch agencies, like the CDC, can't do whatever they want. They need power before they act, which comes from Congress. Without that power, they can't do anything. They can't issue regulations, rules, or directives. This power, called an enabling statute, was missing from the eviction moratorium, according to the Supreme Court, which explained that the power relied upon by the CDC was meant "to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination," not eviction moratoriums. According to the Supreme Court, "our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends." 

Knowing that, you should be wondering if Congress will act and impose its own eviction moratorium? 

For landlords, investors, and tenants that is a really important question given that the Supreme Court acknowledged, in its decision, that "[a]t least 80% of the country, including between 6 and 17 million tenants at risk of eviction, [fell] within the moratorium." 

However, we doubt that Congress will issue another moratorium because it can't get anything done with its division in the Senate. Further, the Supreme Court reminded Congress, in its decision, that a federal "moratorium intrudes into an area that is the particular domain of state law: the landlord-tenant relationship." 

As a result, evictions are about to flood the court systems. Are you ready for the eviction tsunami? 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Leslie Mendoza, Esq. quoted in Newsday Article about Foreclosure Moratorium

Take a read of Maura McDermott's latest article in Newsday, "NY's COVID-19 foreclosure ban is set to expire, but homeowners can still get help," where she quotes our very own Leslie Mendoza, Esq.

Leslie explains that while the "[t]he state’s temporary foreclosure ban 'merely delays any kind of discussion between the borrower and the lender in terms of resolving the delinquencies,' the CFPB rule should help many homeowners get a modified loan, as long as they qualify for one."

To learn more about whether you qualify, read the article and always speak to a great lawyer.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Federal Judge allows CDC Eviction Moratorium to Remain in Effect

On August, 13, 2021, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich held that the CDC eviction moratorium, which was extended by the Biden Administration through October 3, 2021 (“New CDC Moratorium”) should remain in effect.

This means that tenants may still be protected, subject to certain rules, until October 3, 2021.

As background, the CDC’s previous moratorium, which was first enacted in September 2020 and was challenged all the way up the US Supreme Court, expired on July 31, 2021.

Yet, before it expired the Supreme Court upheld its effectiveness until an appeal was decided on its merits, which remains pending. Now, the moratorium, which we discuss more fully here, remains in effect because Judge Friedrich ruled that it remains subject to the prior stay. on the basis that the New CDC Moratorium is subject to the D.C. Circuit Court’s stay.

Stay tuned for changes as Judge Friedrich’s decision is currently under appeal.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

As the National Ban on Evictions will be Lifted in June, There Will be a Rise of Evictions

With about 11 million Americans reported to be behind on their rent, experts predict that the number of evictions will increase when the national ban on evictions will be lifted on June 30th. New York State has extended the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on both residential and commercial properties to August 31st, 2021. (A.7175)

While some states are still struggling to distribute the $45 billion in rental assistance, many renters continue to be behind on their housing payments.

If you would like to apply for rental assistance in NY, follow this link.

Have you applied for rental assistance?

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Legislation Extending Eviction & Foreclosure Moratoriums to August 31, 2021 Signed by Governor

On May 4, 2021, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed legislation (A.7175) that extends the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on both residential and commercial properties from May 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021. The legislation is now on the Governor’s desk for signature. UPDATE: The Governor signed the legislation on May 5, 2021.

If signed, eviction and foreclosure proceedings shall be stayed until August 31, 2021 for tenants and foreclosure defendants who submit a hardship declaration pursuant to the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act and the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act.

Also passed is legislation which expands the COVID-19 Emergency Protect Our Small Businesses Act to small businesses with up to 100 employees, or up to 500 employees if the business was shut down by Executive Order or Health Department directives for at least 2 weeks between May 15, 2020 and May 1, 2021 (A.7127).

As a result, landlords should resort to bringing breach of contract lawsuits against non-paying tenants as explained by the federal courts in Elmsford Apartment Associates LLC v. Cuomo. Do you think suing for a money judgment could result in a settlement where your non-paying tenant surrenders & leaves your property? Should the legislature block this too?

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Housing Price Plummet Delayed to June 30, 2021

The headlines are in - the federal foreclosure / eviction moratoriums are extended to June 30, 2021 from March. This extension applies to 70% of single family home mortgages.

The subtext is that we have a foreclosure / eviction crisis on the horizon. According to the White House "1 in 5 renters is behind on rent and just over 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments." 

If you just use a little deduction, you will quickly realize that almost every block across America is going to see foreclosures and evictions. In the micro, this will result in firesales, which will reduce comparable home prices across the board. In the macro, it will decrease property upkeep and maintenance, which will create a secondary impact on the greater community's desirability and pricing. 

That's the bad. 

The good is that it's going to be a buyer's market soon.

We need to start thinking about strategies to Purchase Property Post-Pandemic. 

What's your strategy? 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

No NYS Residential Foreclosures Until May – New Law

On 12/28/2020, the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020 became law. 

This law effectively stops all residential foreclosures in NYS until May 1, 2021, but it does nothing about the borrower's obligation to repay their loan.  


Do you think that makes sense?

Isn’t that just delaying the inevitable foreclosure crisis?

Shouldn't something be done about the loan too? 


Here is how the law works – a homeowner needs to submit a hardship declaration to their lender and magic, no more foreclosure until May.


The Details:

o   Either the court or lender (depending on foreclosure status) must provide the borrower with a statement explaining the law.

o   To qualify, a borrower must be suffering a financial hardship including, such as

§  A significant loss of household income;

§  Increase in necessary expenses;

§  Childcare responsibilities;

§  Moving expenses; and/or

§  Other circumstances negatively affecting the borrower’s ability to find meaningful employment.

o   Sample hardship declarations will be available on the Office of Court Administration website.

o   New Foreclosures – If the borrower does not provide the declaration, the lender is required to file all sorts of documents to commence a foreclosure proceeding, including:

§  Affidavit of Service of the Hardship Declaration in English and in the borrower’s primary language.

§  Affidavit of Service of RPAPL 1303 and 1304 notices; and

§  Affidavit of the Petitioner/Petitioner’s agent attesting that the Petitioner or his agent did not receive a Hardship Declaration from the Borrower.

o   Existing Foreclosures – Paused (stayed) for at least 60 days to provide the borrower time to complete and submit the hardship declaration.

o   This also stops foreclosure sales if the case already was decided by the court in a judgment.


Make no mistake, this new law does NOT excuse borrowers from paying the mortgage. 

So, what is the point? 

Isn’t it misleading borrowers into digging an even bigger financial hole?

What do you think? 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Commercial Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums Extended through January 1, 2021

Through Executive Order 202.70, Governor Cuomo extended the moratoriums for the initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of an eviction of any commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent or a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment of such mortgage to January 1, 2021. This means that no eviction or foreclosure proceeding may be commenced against commercial tenants for nonpayment of rent or mortgage until such date. However, commercial tenants may still be evicted through holdover eviction proceedings or sued under breach of contract theories for missed rent.

There are no moratoriums in place for residential properties by Executive Order but residential evictions based on non-payment are governed by the Tenant Safe Harbor Act. Courts may be prohibited issuing a warrant of eviction or judgment of possession against a residential tenant experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardship, if the tenant raises it as an affirmative defense and the Court determines that the tenant is suffering such hardship. Listen to our podcast HERE for what this means to residential landlords.