California coronavirus eviction ban aims to help landlords and tenants


A month after the California assembly rejected a measure to give temporary mortgage relief to homeowners affected by COVID-19, two Democrats have teamed up to incorporate elements of the bill into an evictions moratorium that is already halfway through the legislature.

The previous effort, Assembly Bill 2501, failed in a 28-25 vote on June 15, ending Democratic MK Monique Limón’s attempt to offset the financial burden on struggling homeowners during the pandemic.

The bill would also have allowed borrowers to defer auto and payday loans. Twenty-six members of the assembly did not vote on the bill, which bankers, creditors, car dealers and financial services representatives opposed. Real estate and business groups have argued that this will force lenders to shut down their stores for good.

Meanwhile, Assembly Member David Chiu, D-San Francisco, is pushing for a bill that prohibits landlords from evicting tenants who miss payments until the state of emergency ends. coronavirus, over three months, or between March 4, 2020 and April 2021, whichever deadline comes first.

The measure would allow tenants another year to make payments before a landlord can take legal action, although tenants are still protected from eviction as long as they are currently paying rent.

Chiu used a process called “gut and amend” to Assembly Bill 1436, who had already moved into his home last year and is now awaiting Senate approval. AB 1436 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 12.

The two Democrats announced on Tuesday that they would include the mortgage forbearance clause in the evictions bill.

“Preventing a wave of evictions and foreclosures is essential to stabilize our economy and keep our communities healthy,” Chiu said in a statement. “These new changes take a more holistic approach to our COVID housing emergency by balancing the needs of tenants and landlords. “

Under the revised legislation, Californians could request a one-year forbearance for small properties up to four units. Deferred payments for larger properties would be capped at six months. Borrowers could apply for forbearance until the end of the pandemic or until April 2021.

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Residents requesting rent or mortgage relief would have to prove a difficulty related to the coronavirus to benefit from the protections. In both scenarios, tenants and borrowers should resume consistent payments after the grace period ends.

The legislation could offer hope to Californians worried about losing their homes as the economy worsens and the United States struggles to take control of the deadly virus. The unemployment rate in California has climbed to 14.9%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

More than 586,000 Californians do not think they can make their mortgage payment next month, according to data from the Federal Census Bureau, while another 1.1 million are only slightly confident. More … than 4.3 million tenants are in the same situation.

Help could come from other branches of government.

Governor Gavin Newsom extended an executive order that allows local governments to ban evictions until September 30. Congress is debating whether to add protections for landlords and tenants to a developing stimulus package.

“Helping people stay at home during this public health crisis must be a top priority for the Legislative Assembly,” said Limón de Goleta. “Additional unemployment benefits provided by the federal government have expired, which will likely lead to more tenants missing their rent payments and more homeowners behind on their mortgages. AB 1436 offers tenants, landlords and landlords a way to have more time to repay deferred housing payments due to COVID-19. “

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Hannah Wiley joined The Sacramento Bee as a state political reporter in 2019 to cover the California Capitol. She is originally from the Chicago area and graduated from Saint Louis and Northwestern Universities.

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