State News

New CDC Order Halts Evictions, But What About Homeowners?

The Trump administration announced last Tuesday a new moratorium concerning evictions during the Covid-19 Pandemic fears by millions of Americans who might become homeless.

The four-month moratorium comes through an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Donald Trump directed the CDC last month to assess whether an eviction ban would help curb the spread of COVID-19.

White House officials on Tuesday announced the order, which applies to 43 million renters, Forbes reported.

That is a significantly from the previous eviction moratorium through the CARES Act, which only applied to 12.3 million people living in apartments or homes financed by federally backed loans through July 24, 2020, according to Forbes.

While there are no loan-related limits in the new moratorium, the CDC order doesn’t prevent landlords from charging “fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.”

In order to qualify under the new order, renters must meet these requirements:

  • They must have used their “best efforts” to get government assistance for rent.
  • They aren’t able to pay rent because of “substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.”
  • An eviction would likely lead to homelessness.
  • They make $99,000 or less or $198,000 or less if filing taxes jointly, or they aren’t required to report income to the IRS, or they received a stimulus check.

Landlords across the country have been filing eviction notices as the first moratorium expired, and housing advocates have warned about an increase in homelessness.

Up to 40 million Americans could lose their homes due to evictions — four times the number during the Great Recession, CNBC reported.

As of Tuesday, 17 states and the District of Columbia put protections in place against evictions, said Emily Benfer, a Wake Forest Law professor who chairs the American Bar Association’s work on evictions, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

But what of the million of home owners with mortagages that can not pay due to Covid-19?

Under the CARES ACT Federally backed mortgages were covered, and most states had implemented protections for those not with federal mortgages. If one reads through the entire CDC Order it can be argued that these protections do cover non-renters as well. But it does not state specifically this fact.

As million of homeowners have the same worries as renters one would imagine the language of this order would be made to include them in these protections from foreclosures on their homes, not simply the ones covered by federal mortgages.

You can view the full Order here, but here is a small portion of the Applicability section:

Applicability
Under this Order, a landlord, owner of a residential
property, or other persons with a legal right to pursue
eviction or possessory action, shall not evict any covered
person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to
which this Order applies during the effective period of the
Order. This Order does not apply in any State, local,
territorial, or tribal area with a moratorium on
residential evictions that provides the same or greater
level of public-health protection than the requirements
listed in this Order. Nor does this order apply to American
Samoa, which has reported no cases of COVID-19, until such
time as cases are reported.
In accordance with 42 U.S.C. 264(e), this Order does
not preclude State, local, territorial, and tribal
authorities from imposing additional requirements that
provide greater public-health protection and are more
restrictive than the requirements in this Order.
This Order is a temporary eviction moratorium to
prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This Order does not
relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make
3 For purposes of this Order, “person” includes corporations,
companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint
stock companies, as well as individuals.
a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that
the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar
contract. Nothing in this Order precludes the charging or
collecting of fees, penalties, or interest as a result of
the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a
timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.

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