What Continuation of the Florida Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures Will Mean for Landlords, Lenders, Asset Managers and Investors

As you may have heard, the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in Florida – set to expire August 1st. – has again been extended to September 1st.  (It is the 3rd extension of the initial Executive Order.)  Its’ purpose is to help prevent those who may have been out of work due to coronavirus from becoming homeless.  Unfortunately, an added side effect of the moratorium is that many landlords, lenders, asset managers and investors who depend on the income and portfolio performance from renters and borrowers are facing their own financial strain when tenants and borrowers fail to pay rent or mortgage payments.  In today’s blog post, we’ll try to give some context to what the new extension means and answer some of the questions landlords, lenders, asset managers and investors are asking as the moratorium continues.

Upfront: What’s unique about this extension to September 1st?

It is clear this extension is limited. That is to say, the moratorium suspends and tolls “final action” at the “conclusion” of a case.  This means and suggests that landlords, lenders, asset managers and investors can in fact file actions for non-payment of rent or mortgage and push through the proceeding.  You can expect renters or borrowers to defend and receive the benefit of the moratorium by raising a defense premised on “loss of employment, diminished wages or business income, or other monetary loss” arising out of being “adversely affected” by the COVID-19 emergency.  Yet, the suspension or tolling pertains solely to the “final action” at the “conclusion of an eviction or mortgage foreclosure proceeding.”  Presumably, that may mean either the issuance of a final judgment or an actual writ of possession.  At this point, I would suggest that likely means a court might issue a final judgment, but won’t allow a Plaintiff to execute on it – in the form of an accompanying Writ of Possession – until the moratorium is lifted.

Are Tenants or Borrowers Forgiven Missed Payments?

Whether a Tenant or Borrower – the Executive Order makes clear that all payments, including tolled payments, are due when no longer “adversely affected” by COVID-19.  So no forgiveness of payments.

Are Commercial Evictions impacted in any way?

Simple answer?  No.  You can still file and pursue a commercial eviction and the court should issue writs of possession to remove a non-paying tenant.  

My Tenant hasn’t been paying his residential rent.  Will I definitely be able to evict them after September 1st? 

As I said above, commercial evictions can still be pursued.  As for residential evictions – different story – they get protection.  As to “when” you could proceed?  That’s anyone’s guess, although it’s fair to say – eventually.  I know that might not feel like much help, but it does help to keep it in perspective.  That said, it’s also true many of you may be compelled to sell your properties due to tax bills, insurance, claims, etc.  Also, while eventually the statewide moratorium on evictions will be lifted, some homes and tenants might still be further protected by federal law. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) protects many from eviction and late rent payment fees with a 30-day notice period.  In those cases – with extensions seemingly everywhere – evictions might not be carried out until even much later.  Who is protected by the CARES Act?  Anyone whose landlord receives federal funding or government assistance or is financed under a federal program.

If you’re a tenant or borrower, what can I expect if I receive an eviction or foreclosure notice?

Given these unprecedented circumstances and the unemployment rates our nation is facing, you can expect a growing rush of landlords, lenders, asset managers and investors to file eviction and foreclosures actions even while the moratorium is in place.  This would be designed to ensure they are in position to move the case forward once the moratorium is lifted.  These will be added to the evictions and foreclosures already filed and in place (the moratorium preventing them from getting the cases to a “conclusion”).  Naturally, this will also create a backlog with the courts, which in turn, will lead to the process taking longer than it has in the recent past.  Since we’ve never lived through a pandemic and its’ impact before, it remains to be seen exactly how it will be handled or what will happen to work through all this.  That’s why it’s more important than ever to have sound legal representation and guidance.

Who can help?

The Reyes Law Group focuses on assisting landlords, lenders, asset managers and investors navigate the legal minefield; in particular, during this pandemic and the Florida moratorium, our 30+-years of Big Firm, boutique-focused, legal experience continues to serve clients challenged by an unprecedented legal, state, and national landscape.  We are staying on top of every new update so that we can give our clients informed and trusted advice.  If you are interested in experienced representation and partnering with me and our dedicated legal team, we would love to hear from you.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us today.  Yes, we can help.

The following two tabs change content below.

Reyes Law Group

Reyes Law Group represents clients in a multi-disciplinary legal practice involving real estate transactions and litigation with a “footprint” that covers the State of Florida. Over the firm’s first 10 years, Reyes Law Group has closed over $100M in commercial closings, representing buyers and sellers in contract negotiations, due diligence, and the related title review and policy issuance related to closings. In litigation, the firm has commercial litigation experience focused on prosecuting or defending claims such as breach of contracts, partition actions, trade secret violations, and breach of non-competes. However, our firm’s MAIN FOCUS is assisting asset and loan portfolio managers, investors and private lenders with a “ 4-PILLAR APPROACH” to the legal challenges they face with non-performing assets: 1) LOAN WORKOUTS; 2) COMMERCIAL FORECLOSURES (across the State of Florida); 3) COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS; and 4) REO COMMERCIAL CLOSINGS.30+ years’ legal experience means - WE CAN HELP!

Latest posts by Reyes Law Group (see all)

%d bloggers like this: