On June 3, Florida Gov., Ron DeSantis responded to the coronavirus pandemic by declaring a moratorium on evictions and mortgage foreclosures. The moratorium has been extended to July 1, 2020. What happens then?
Thousands of Floridians are looking for answers to these questions as they scramble to avoid the effect of an eviction notice or mortgage foreclosure notice. Many residents who have habitually paid their rent or loan on time are now facing the very real possibility of being homeless if the state’s moratorium is not extended.
The future is lacking any sharp focus on what or if any relief may be available. Housing advocates held a large meeting on June 25 during which many attendees vociferously expressed a need for bold action by the governor. So far, the governor has not responded.
Individuals may be forced to retain an attorney to explore relief. For renters without a written lease, they may well receive an eviction notice that requires them to move out by July 30. Home owners may find more useful provisions in their mortgage document. For example, Florida law requires mortgagees who wish to foreclose on a home loan to file a notice in court and serve it on the borrower.
Perhaps the most fruitful course of action is to retain an experienced real estate attorney to review the specific situation. A capable real estate lawyer can quickly identify potential defenses for failure to pay rent or ways of stopping a foreclosure proceeding. In many situations, an effective solution will require a court appearance, and the services of an attorney will be essential. Attorneys may also be able to assist the homeowner or renter in finding government funded relief programs that can provide temporary financial relief.