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Amid COVID-19, Florida Governor Suspends Foreclosures

Posted By Ryan Albaugh || 20-Apr-2020

Since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency due to COVID-19, Americans’ lives have been turned upside-down. Schools have been closed and students switched to online learning. Businesses everywhere have shut down. Concerts, conventions, and events have been canceled, and even movie theatres have closed their doors. As a result, millions of Americans have been forced out of work.

Since so many Americans are living check-to-check, it’s understandable why even four to six weeks of income loss can affect people’s ability to pay their mortgages. Because of this pressing issue, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended all foreclosures in Florida for 45 days. While aiding debtors was a key motivator, another driver behind the measure is keeping Floridians in their homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Florida’s Broken Unemployment System

Florida’s unemployment website has experienced a record number of people who were forced out of work due to COVID-19 and DeSantis is well-aware of the issue. In fact, he’s reached out to employees who work for the state to help take phone calls from people calling into Florida’s unemployment hotline.

According to DeSantis, he’s making the state’s broken unemployment system his top priority. If people aren’t able to file for unemployment because the system isn’t operating efficiently or at all, their benefits could be delayed for weeks.

“Hundreds of thousands of workers are being furloughed right now; we are all concerned about their ability to meet any kind of payment,’’ said Douglas Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council, in an interview. “That’s why we’re working with lawmakers to get emergency assistance for renters.’’

When the 45 Day Suspension Expires

While the 45-day suspension on foreclosures is much-appreciated, what happens when the suspension is lifted and a debtor is still unemployed or has not recovered enough to get caught up on their mortgage? Bankruptcy might help. For example, if a person can’t afford their mortgage, they may qualify for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which can help save their home from foreclosure.

If you’re concerned that your economic stimulus check and the suspension aren’t enough to save your home, contact Albaugh Law Firm for help.