State Covid-19 related housing actions, April 3, 2020
The following are summaries of actions certain states have taken in response to the Covid-19 crisis to limit home foreclosures. The list may not be complete, as state and local governments continue to adopt new emergency measures at a fast pace.
Consumers and their advocates should carefully review the scope of the measures adopted in their states. These executive declarations and court orders provide important relief in a crisis that will lead to severe health and financial consequences for many homeowners. However, some of these emergency proclamations have a very narrow scope. Press coverage may give the impression that an order prevents a wider range of actions than it actually does. For example, certain state emergency declarations bar post-foreclosure evictions. However, they do not halt the conduct of the foreclosure sale itself or reverse its consequences. In judicial foreclosures the orders may prevent the conduct of a foreclosure sale and eviction, but may not stop the running of deadlines to respond to motions or answer pleadings. In particular, the orders may not address the running of post-judgment redemption periods. In certain states, it may still be necessary to modify recorded orders setting the expiration of redemption periods. The expiration of a redemption period will have a direct impact on the scheduling of a foreclosure sale when the emergency order expires.
California (non judicial foreclosure)
Executive Order N-28-20 from Governor, March 16, 2020 effective to March 31, 2020
- Suspends state preemption of local government regulation of evictions, including post-foreclosure evictions. Localities may restrict evictions in cases where nonpayment was caused by income reduction or increased household expenses.
Colorado (non judicial foreclosure authorized by court)
Governor’s Executive Order 2020-12, March 20, 2020, effective for 30 days
- Extends for 30 days the deadlines to cure and to redeem under Colorado foreclosure statute.
Connecticut (judicial foreclosure)
Statement from Chief Court Administrator, March 18, 2020
- All foreclosure sales previously scheduled to occur in April or May 2020 rescheduled to June 6, 2020. The judgment in any foreclosure action in which the court set a redemption period to expire during April or May 2020 is amended to set the expiration date for June 2, 2020. The execution of ejectment judgments is stayed through March 27, 2020. Civil trials, trial management conferences, pretrial and status conferences, and mediations cancelled until further notice.
Delaware (judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Modified Declaration of State of Emergency, March 24, 2020
- Bars commencement of all residential foreclosures unless mortgagee is the seller. Provides that “no late fee or excess interest may be charged or accrue on the account for such residential mortgage during the state of emergency.” For foreclosure actions pending as of initial March 12, 2020 emergency declaration all deadlines extended to date no sooner than the 31st day following the termination of the state of emergency. Similarly, if judgment entered before emergency declaration, no sheriff’s sale can take place and no eviction can occur until at least 31 days after termination of state of emergency.
District of Columbia (non judicial foreclosure)
D.C. Superior Court Corona Virus Advisory, March 13, 2020
- The court “has suspended evictions of all tenants and foreclosed homeowners.”
Illinois (judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-10, March 20, 2020 effective to April 7, 2020
- Directs all state, county and local law enforcement officers cease enforcement of orders of eviction for residential premises for the duration of Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation.
Indiana (judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Executive Order, March 19, 2020
- Public health emergency declared to April 5, 2020. No residential eviction proceedings or foreclosure actions to be initiated during the declared public health emergency.
Iowa (judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Proclamation, March 22, 2020
- Temporarily suspends the provisions of Iowa Code allowing for the commencement of foreclosure proceedings, or the prosecution of ongoing foreclosure proceedings, on residential, commercial, and agricultural real property. Suspension to remain in effect for duration of Governor’s proclamation of emergency.
Kansas (judicial foreclosure)
- Directs all financial institutions operating in the state to suspend “any mortgage foreclosure efforts or judicial proceedings” and commercial and residential evictions until May 1, 2020.
Kentucky (judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Executive Order 2020-257, March 25, 2020
- Directs that all state, county and local law enforcement officers cease enforcement of orders of eviction for residential premises for the duration of State of Emergency declared on March 6, 2020.
Maine (judicial foreclosure)
Emergency Order and Notice Maine Supreme Court, March 18, 2020 effective to May 1, 2020
- No proceedings will be scheduled or heard for foreclosure and eviction cases.
Emergency Order Maine Superior and District Court, March 17, 2020
- Until further order of court 49 days added to unexpired deadline established by court order or court rule, but does not extend statutory deadlines or limitations
Maryland (judicial authorization for non judicial foreclosure)
- Order to be revised “as circumstances warrant” Residential foreclosures and foreclosure of right to redeem after tax sale pending in circuit courts stayed effective immediately. Same for pending and scheduled evictions. New residential foreclosures and foreclosures of right to redeem after tax sales “shall be stayed upon filing.”
Michigan (non judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Executive Order 2020-19, March 20, 2020 effective to April 17, 2020
- Bars execution of eviction process against tenants, vendees under executory contracts (installment land sale contracts) and mobile home owners. Does not specifically reference post mortgage foreclosure evictions.
Governor’s Executive Order 2020-14, March 18, 2020
- Temporarily suspends tax sale redemption deadline from March 31, 2020 until the later of (a) May 29, 2020, or (b) 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency.
Minnesota (non judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Executive Order 20-14, March 23, 2020
- Effective March 24, 2020 and until suspension of emergency declaration. Prohibits mortgage holders from filing eviction actions to recover possession of a property after termination of a redemption period. Financial institutions are “requested” to enter a moratorium on all pending and future foreclosures and evictions against borrowers impacted financially by virus and “strongly urged” not to assess late fees and penalties for nonpayment related to epidemic.
Nevada (non judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Declaration of Emergency, Directive 008, March 29, 2020
- Prohibits initiation of foreclosure and evictions based upon default under a mortgage until emergency declaration dated March 12, 2020 terminates.
New Hampshire (non judicial foreclosure)
- Prohibits all forms of foreclosure during emergency declaration. Initiation of foreclosure proceedings suspended for duration of declared emergency.
New Jersey (judicial foreclosure)
N.J. Dept. of Banking and Insurance announcement of Department’s agreement with approximately 45 servicers, including major bank servicers, to consider borrowers affected by Covid-19 for forbearance agreements, March 28, 2020
- Listed institutions “will offer mortgage payment forbearance for up to 90 days” to reduce or delay monthly payments. The participating servicers stated that they will implement a “a streamlined process for requesting forbearance.” The borrower’s request must be “supported with available documentation.” The servicer will confirm the approval and the terms of the forbearance. The servicers have agreed to waive late fees during the 90 days and will not report late or missed payments with credit reporting agencies (but may report borrower in forbearance). Borrowers may request an extension of a forbearance agreement if they continue to experience hardship due to the virus. The institutions agree not to “start any foreclosure sales or evictions” for 60 days from the date of the agreement (March 28, 2020). The Department’s statement of the agreement terms does not refer to enforcement terms.
Governor’s Executive Order No. 106, March 19, 2020, effective to later of two months following end of Public Emergency, or State of Emergency established by Executive Order
- Order prohibits eviction of a residential homeowner following foreclosure. The order allows foreclosures to proceed in all respects other than eviction.
New York (judicial foreclosure)
New York State Department of Financial Services New Part 119 to 3 NYCRR Emergency Relief for New Yorkers who can Demonstrate Financial Hardship as a Result of Covid-19, March 24, 2020, effective to April 20, 2020 and any subsequent renewal period
- NYSDFS regulation implementing Executive Order 202.9, establishes “Covid-19 Relief Program.” Under program regulated entities must make “widely available” to New York borrowers demonstrating financial hardship caused by Covid-19 a forbearance and “subject to safety and soundness requirements of the regulated institution” grant a forbearance of 90 days. Federally guaranteed and GSE loans are exempted. Within ten business days of rule’s effective date regulated institutions must use email, mail mailing, website publication or similar communication method to publicize an application process for borrowers. Institutions must evaluate and respond to all applications within ten days of receipt of a complete application. The decision must be in writing. In its supervisory reviews the Department may treat the failure to approve forbearance as an unsafe and unsound business practice.
Governor’s Executive Order 202.9, March 21, 2020 effective to April 20, 2020
- Directs State’s Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services to “ensure under reasonable and prudent circumstances that regulated entities provide to any consumer in the State an opportunity for a forbearance of payments for a mortgage for any person or entity facing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Superintendent shall promulgate emergency regulations to require that the application for such forbearance be made widely available for consumers, and such application shall be granted in all reasonable and prudent circumstances solely for the period of such emergency.”
Governor’s Executive Order No. 202.8, March 20, 2020
- (“Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency”). Tolls wide range of time limits until April 19, 2020, including “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as prescribed by the procedural laws of the state, including but not limited to . . . the civil practice law and rules”. Also tolls until April 19, 2020 all time limits set by “any other statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule, or regulation, or part thereof”.
New York Office of Court Administrator’s Order No. 78, March 22, 2020
- Directs court clerks not to accept filings in non-essential cases “until further order.” Foreclosure cases are deemed non-essential cases.
North Carolina (judicial foreclosure)
Order of Supreme Court, March 19, 2020
- Extends from March 16, 2020 to April 17, 2020 deadlines for filing pleadings, motions, notices, other documents and performing required “acts” in civil proceedings, including “special proceedings” (foreclosure proceedings). Effect is to delay to April 17, 2020 the completion of foreclosure sales not finalized as of March 16, 2020.
Pennsylvania (judicial foreclosure)
Supreme Court Order of Statewide Judicial Emergency, March 19, 2020 effective to April 3, 2020
- Deadlines for filing legal papers due between March 19, 2020 to April 3, 2020. During this period no state official may effectuate an eviction, ejectment, or other displacement from a residence for nonpayment of rent or a loan. Allows filing requests for orders of possession.
South Carolina (judicial foreclosure)
- Ordering statewide moratorium on foreclosure hearings, foreclosure sales, writs of ejectment, all matters relating to foreclosures until further order of Chief Justice.
Wisconsin (judicial foreclosure)
Governor’s Emergency Order No. 15, March 22, 2020
- For duration of sixty 60 days prohibits mortgagees from commencing foreclosure actions and from requesting or scheduling a sheriff’s sale of the mortgaged premises. Sheriffs may not act on any order of foreclosure or execute any writ of assistance related to foreclosure. Order does not affect obligation to make mortgage payments or any other obligation of borrower under mortgage.