Expiring Eviction Moratorium Spells Disaster for Pennsylvania Renters
As many as 500,000 Pennsylvanians are at risk of eviction if the Eviction Moratorium expires Monday August 31, 2020. Governor Tom Wolf said in a press release earlier this week that the statewide moratorium on evictions for failure to pay, and on foreclosures — which he last extended in July — can’t be extended again under terms of the state Emergency Services Code. His statement did not further outline why he can’t unilaterally extend the moratorium again.
How Soon Can Evictions be Filed?
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.
How Can You Get Assistance?
Rent assistance is available through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) for renters who 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.
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.
Does the Foreclosure Moratorium Also Expire?
Yes, the prior moratorium also expires on August 31. 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. Find out if you qualify for a relief program. 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.