The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act expired on July 24th, 2020, which beyond providing $600 per week financial support, also prevented landlords and banks from initiating eviction proceedings for 120 days. CARES was passed in late March, 2020.
This meant that from March through July 2020, you could have been late on your mortgage payments, remaining in your home or rental space without worrying about late payment or eviction notices. Everything was placed on pause, and to the homeowners/renters that experienced relief from this, it’s important to understand that as of July 24th, 2020, protection from the federal government no longer exists. Furthermore, it states in the official documentation by the federal government that "...the Cares act does not absolve tenants of their legal responsibilities to pay rent. Tenants who do not pay rent during the eviction grace period may still face financial and legal liabilities, including eviction, after the moratorium ends."
As of July 24th, 2020, banks and landlords now are within their legal rights to initiate recovery of late payments, and evict if necessary. Understanding that there is a pandemic and this will put people's health at significant risk, to have to change homes or even worse, live homeless—this is not the time to be banking on the US government bailing out every American who is defaulting on payments. It's not realistic.
Many Americans used this grace period to ‘free up’ money for food, choosing to pay bills for which the federal government did not offer relief. Now with CARES ended, millions are soon to be in the hole financially, and may become homeless.
And eviction can happen very quickly. Depending on your state, proceedings can be started and concluded in days. In Los Angeles, Boston and New York City, it’s under a week. It is foreseeable that millions of notices will be given to tenants in the coming weeks indicating failure to pay rent or mortgage. For many Americans who are out of work, the belief is that the CARES Act is still taking care of the mortgage or rent, and that perhaps this could be a permanent strategy where it won't be owed back. This is a terrible mistake to make.
Now is the time to be proactive, and secure funds, especially if you are looking at late mortgage or rent payment notices—above all else, be sure to do all you can to be on top of your payments to keep your home. Especially during this time with cases of COVID increasing—you have been at home for a reason. You must remain there to stay healthy and safe.
Be well, and take care of yourself.