Eviction and Foreclosure Moratoriums Extended
Governor Tom Wolf yesterday signed a new executive order that protects homeowners and renters from eviction or foreclosure until Aug. 31, if they have not received assistance from a new program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) or are not already receiving relief through one of several federal foreclosure moratorium programs or judicial orders. Lenders and property owners that receive funds through the PHFA program agree not pursue foreclosure or eviction actions as a condition of participation in the program. There are exceptions to this Order.
All eviction timelines must be computed with a start date of August 31, 2020, at which point any previously delivered notices to quit required by law will be deemed delivered and any eviction proceedings may commence as of that date. Thus, if you previously received a notice, the time limits of those notices are deemed to be completed and eviction proceedings can be filed immediately.
Renters who have at least a 30% reduction in income and became unemployed after March 1, 2020 may be eligible for rent assistance. Assistance up to $750/month is available. The deadline to apply is September 30. You can apply here.
In addition, if you are a tenant living in federally subsidized housing or are renting from an owner who has a federally or GSE-backed mortgage (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), the CARES Act provides for a suspension or moratorium on evictions. This moratorium already was extended to August 31, 2020.
Not all eviction proceedings are covered by this Order. The Order applies only to matters involving the nonpayment of monies as well as to those proceedings related to removal of any tenant solely because the tenant has refused to vacate after the term of the lease expires. The Order does not suspend notice requirements relating to evictions for breaches of any other covenants. For example, if you’ve failed to maintain the property or failed to comply with other non-payment provisions in your lease, it is possible that you could be evicted from the property.
All foreclosure timelines must be computed with a start date of August 31, 2020, at which point any previously delivered notices required by law will be deemed delivered and any foreclosure process may commence. Foreclosure actions may proceed from that point forward in the normal course of action.
All homeowners who have at least a 30% reduction in income and became unemployed after March 1, 2020 may be eligible for mortgage assistance. Assistance up to $1,000/month is available. The deadline to apply is September 30. Only payments due between March 1 and December 31 are eligible for assistance. You can apply here.
In addition, homeowners with a federally or GSE-backed mortgage and who are experiencing financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the coronavirus national emergency may be entitled to mortgage forbearance. You can find out if you have an eligible mortgage and for more information on this program here. Our attorneys are here to answer any questions that you have about these programs and your situation. We invite you to call 412.391.7339 for a consultation.