Final Countdown Begins on Eviction, Foreclosure Bans

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

37

That’s how many days are left on federal eviction and foreclosure bans that were extended Thursday for the final time, through July 31. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its eviction moratorium, which had been set to expire on June 30, for a fourth time as the White House said the final month will give the government breathing room to turn to other programs aimed at preventing what could be a potential flood of evictions stemming from the pandemic. 

The federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program has made more than $46 billion of aid available to renters, and the White House is now encouraging state and local courts to promote diversion programs as alternatives to eviction. The ERA gives state and local rental aid agencies funding to pay the back rent of people who have fallen behind on payments, but senior White House officials said Thursday the program has encountered obstacles distributing the funds. 

“We have been building a national infrastructure for delivering Emergency Rental Assistance where it did not previously exist,” a senior White House official said Thursday on a conference call with reporters. “We are doing everything we can to get this support out to renters that need it.”

Estimates on the number of renters who could lose their home vary, but a Census survey from late May and early June reported that 3.23 million adults were “somewhat” or “very” likely to be evicted in the next two months out of 7.11 million who are behind on rent. And without factoring in Thursday’s extension, online real estate company Zillow estimated 2.7 million people were at risk of eviction. An additional month of breathing room will mean more are able to catch up, likely making that number lower, a Zillow spokesperson said in an email.

The CDC moratorium prohibits landlords from physically evicting tenants who file paperwork stating they have suffered financial hardship from the pandemic, but allows eviction filings and legal proceedings to move forward. The moratorium on foreclosures, which applies to federally-backed mortgages for single-family homes, had been set to expire on June 30 and was extended to ensure more steps are taken to help borrowers catch up.

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