With eviction bans expiring, a heartbreaking deep dive into what to do if you’re among those facing hardships

This week allot of our readers asked me to put together a handy guide for those needing resources and information about eviction help; assistance, and otherwise legal hotlines that may be able to help people.

The times Americans now live in call for drastic measures, because, millions are on the brink of homelessness — which would essentially create a far worse of an economic disaster than the government ever thought was possible.

First and foremost — below are some key points to remember about the expiration of moratoriums pending.

  1. The main moratorium that is expiring…

Despite confusion, this particular federal moratorium lands with those that have federally backed mortgages (think the god awful criminals at Sallie Mae and Freddie Mac.). If you’ve got a mortgage with those looters, it might be time to think about your other options or perhaps getting on the phone at your soonest convenience. It remains unclear whether or not local moratoriums would prevent or stop evictions in this manner.

2. Even when you’ve been notified of an eviction…

There is still a legal process that has to be followed. Contrary to popular belief, landlords can’t just go full Wolverine and throw you and your things out the day they wish to evict you. There are court proceedings and paperwork that must be filed. It is illegal to go about it any other way. Landlords must also provide you in writing a full notice.

3. What has to be in that notice?

Depending on where one might live — the contents of that notice vary widely. You can visit the local court website of your town of residence and find out what it has to include. Notices that aren’t in full accordance of the law and rightfully contain all necessary info — can and usually lead to cases being dismissed.

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Pro tip: At no time should you ever fully skip over an eviction hearing whether in person or over Zoom. That isn’t okay. You can still be evicted either way and sometimes even a default judgement can be tacked on. It is best and in your best interests to always show up and be professional.

You can find important and necessary information; resources, programmes, and help by visit this link we found from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

4. In places like New York City — it is actually the law that low income families and individuals are guaranteed a housing lawyer that can help them with their case.

In 2017, NYC made it the law of the land that such be a thing because low income families are harshly affected far more than others in the city. The absorbent costs of living often make it very difficult for individuals and families to even have to think about additional expenses.

Let’s talk eviction bans. What are they? How long are they active? What’s the 4-1-1.

This is probably the most important part as there are various kinds of bans and moratoriums still currently active. But before we go deeper into those that are still ongoing, let’s talk about the one that expires on a federal level. The federal level moratorium hits those with federally back mortgages; those in public housing, and pretty much anyone in housing that is federally funded in any way.

That ban is expected to be lifted on 25 July when landlords will then be allowed to issue notices to vacate. Public housing advocates have already cried foul — especially in cities like New York that had such a housing crisis long before the imminent housing crisis that looms.

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So on a federal level and in those situations most would have until 24 August to make other arrangements. On receipt of notice under the law — you have roughly 30 days to vacate.

A full list of eviction bans; dates, extensions, and other information(s) can be found here.

What about unpaid rent?

None of the above prescribed bans or moratoriums protect you regarding unpaid rent. The rent must still be paid back at some point unless you’ve otherwise managed to convince you’re likely shady landlord to work it out with you. A common misconception people have had in e-mails I read before compiling this guide was that the bans helped all around, er, when in fact they don’t.

This is what has led many advocates and housing professionals to lead the charge to #CancelRent all together. Because I’m going to be totally fucking real with you here —- there aren’t many people that will suddenly be able to pony up thousands of dollars all of a sudden in back rent.

Best bet?

Okay so I’m going to keep it totally transparent with people here. The times we now live in are equally unfortunate as they are terrifying for allot of people. Allot of people don’t understand what it takes to be a landlord of a building, and there are allot of landlords who don’t understand what it takes to be a tenant in a building. This isn’t 1965 where things were once notoriously inexpensive. It is 2020 in cities where the average cost of living has sometimes tripled if not quadrupled since the levels people saw 30-40 years ago.

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So my point is don’t hide. Don’t not open your mail. It might be time to consider sitting down with your landlord to figure out if they’d be willing to set up some kind of payment plan or arrangement. Surprisingly, there are allot of landlords whom are willing to do that. It is a huge process to have find new tenants and allot of landlords don’t want to have to go through that process all over again.

Payment plans won’t directly stop you from being potentially evicted, however, if you’re willing to do your part most landlords would probably work with you in a sense to prevent eviction. Because like all businesses and owners (and yes, I’m keeping it real, a landlord is just a fancy way of calling someone a businessman/woman) some money is better than no money at all.

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