The CARES Act: Evictions, Foreclosures On Pause For Some. Then What?

furniture stacked along a sidewalk outside an apartment building
Evicted! photo by 70023venus2009 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

An article by three U.S. Law Professors explains how the federal CARES Act only momentarily addresses the threat of eviction and only for a select group of owners and renters. CARES only protects homeowners and renters who live in homes that have some form of federal government support (e.g. a federally backed mortgage, a renovation loan to a landlord, a Section 8 voucher). Potential beneficiaries include nearly 2/3 of mortgage holders and less than 1/3 of renters.

How does this help resolve their financial crisis? It doesn’t. It merely puts rent or mortgage obligations on hold. And that hold is only theoretical, since there is no practical enforcement method to ensure landlords or mortgage lenders abide by a CARES moratorium on either evictions or foreclosures.

That lumps newly jobless CARES-covered non-payers into the same boat as the unprotected 2/3 of distressed renters and 1/3 of mortgage-paying Americans who have no CARES protection. Maybe it bumps them up a class from steerage to third or second class on the voyage. But those without income or savings are all currently in the same boat, headed towards seemingly inevitable eviction or foreclosure, either right now, or somewhat later.

What can be done about this slow-rolling disaster?

The law profs propose a solution in Bloomberg Law: The CARES Act Could Put People On The Street—Here’s A Solution


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