By Jenny Ling, Esq. and Michael Safren, Esq.
Amid the outbreak of COVID-19, our state and federal governments have taken steps to ensure that families continue to have a place to live during this unprecedented global pandemic.
On March 18, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide moratorium on residential evictions in the State of Washington. Unlawful detainer notices and 20 day-notices are prohibited unless the landlord believes that eviction is needed to protect the health and safety of the tenant or other individuals. Additionally, residential landlords may not initiate actions seeking writ of restitution if the basis is failure by the tenant to pay rent. Moreover, law enforcement may not enforce evictions orders that are based on the non-payment of rent.
MORTGAGE FORECLOSURES and EVICTION
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium for all FHA-insured Single-Family mortgages for 60 days. This Moratorium applies to all FHA Title II Single Family Forward and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (reverse) mortgage programs. This applies not only to the initiation of foreclosures, but also to the completion of the foreclosure process.
On March 18, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (they are called the Enterprises) have also suspended foreclosures for 60 days. Earlier this month, FHFA announced that the Enterprises would provide forbearance to borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus, which would allow mortgage payments to be suspended for up to 12 months due to hardship caused by the coronavirus. Borrowers facing hardships due to the novel coronavirus should reach out to their mortgage servicers as soon as possible. If you are eligible, you will not incur late fees, your delinquencies will not be reported to the credit bureaus and your foreclosures and other legal proceedings will be suspended.
Michael Safren are Jenny Ling are Partners at The Law Offices of Jenny Ling, PLLC. Their practice focuses on business, real estate, estate planning, debtor/ creditor rights, and civil litigation.