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State and federal protections for those facing eviction or foreclosure

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. Ron Desantis’ extension of his executive order offers two more weeks of breathing room for those struggling to pay rent or mortgage payments.

That order prohibits landlords from starting eviction proceedings against tenants who can’t pay because of the coronavirus pandemic. Lenders also can’t file to foreclose on homes.

“The courts are frozen,” said attorney Robin Stover, of Gulfcoast Legal Services.

The extension expires June 2, offering two more weeks to come up with money or reach an agreement with landlords.

This is welcomed news for many who haven’t received benefits from Florida’s overwhelmed unemployment system and can’t make housing payments. Many were living in fear that their landlords would quickly evict them after the moratorium was lifted, which previously would have expired on May 17.

A growing number of tenants have reached out to Better Call Behnken with concerns about receiving eviction notices, despite the existing moratorium. Stover says landlords can write what they want but cannot proceed with an eviction.

“Just remember the landlord is not protecting you, in the sense that the landlord can put anything really he wants on your door,” she said. “The protection comes because the process is frozen in the court.”

Keep in mind, this is only buying you two more weeks, and you still need to make plans to pay. But with so many people unemployed and not receiving benefits, this gives more time.

But you may end up getting even more time – if your landlord has a federally-backed mortgage. The federal Cares act halts the filing of those evictions until July 25.

“They have to give you give you 30 days notice, not three,” she said. “And they can’t give you the 30 days notice until July 25.”

Tenants are not the only ones hurting. Landlords depend on rental income to pay their bills as well. That is why it is important to pay if you can no matter the moratorium rules. Your debt will still be there and you can still get evicted once the moratorium is lifted.

If you are unsure what type of loan your landlord has and whether or not they fall under the federal act, you can find more information here:

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