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Washington State Governor Inslee Extends Eviction Moratorium Through October 15, 2020

Posted By USFN, Monday, July 27, 2020

by Wendy Lee, Esq.
McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce, LLC
USFN Member (AL, CA, CT, FL, GA, IL, MS, NV, NJ, NY, OR, TX, WA)

On July 24, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee formally extended the COVID-19 housing proclamations made earlier in the year, and updated guidance related to some of the reopening plans made within the state.  The announcement most relevant to the default servicing and REO industry is contained within proclamation 20-19.3, which extended proclamations 20-05 (state of emergency) and extended the statewide moratorium on evictions, contained within 20-19.2, through October 15, 2020. 


This proclamation and extension specifically prohibit:

  • Servicing, enforcing, or threatening to serve or enforce any notice requiring a resident to vacate.The only exceptions being:
    • if the property owner attaches an affidavit attesting that the action is necessary to respond to a significant and immediate risk to health, safety, or property of others;
    • if tenant is provided 60 days written notice that owner intends to occupy as personal residence or sell the property;
    • THERE IS NO EXCEPTION FOR NON-FEDERALLY BACKED MORTGAGES.
  • Charging late fees for non-payment of rent if the non-payment or late payment occurred on or after February 29, 2020 (the date of the  state of emergency).

  • Treating unpaid rent as enforceable debt when non-payment is a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and occurred after February 29, 2020.The only exception is:
    • If the owner demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that the resident was offered, and refused or failed to comply with, a re-payment plan that was reasonable based on the individual financial, health and other circumstances of that resident.
  • Increasing the rate of rent for any dwelling or parcel of land occupied as a dwelling and also for commercial rental property if the tenant was materially impacted by COVID-19.For individuals this applies if the individual was personally impacted and unable to work.For businesses if they were deemed non-essential or lost staff or customers due to COVID-19.

 

Mortgage servicers and investors should consider this action checklist to ensure compliance with the Washington state proclamation:


Review any pre and post sale foreclosure notices and discontinue sending any that might be interpreted as threatening to serve, seek, or enforce any eviction order or right that might accrue as a result of a foreclosure.  This applies to all non-federally backed mortgage foreclosures.


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