Illinois Extends its Eviction Moratorium into September 2020 for Renters and Homeowners
On August 21, 2020, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that Illinois’s ban on evictions will be extended to September 19th (Executive Order 2020-52, issued on August 21st, reissues and extends Executive Orders 2020-48 and 2020-30 in their entirety). The four week extension, is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has left millions without jobs or struggling to keep up with their monthly rent or mortgage payments. Governor Pritzker hopes this extension will allow state officials to set up a program to distribute $300 million in aid to landlords and tenants who are struggling. This program is not just intended for Chicagoans, but for all those who live in Illinois.
This eviction moratorium means no landlord or loan company can file for eviction against an occupant with any circuit court in Illinois. The exceptions are if the tenant poses a “direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants, an immediate and severe risk to property, or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation.”
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How can I get help with my mortgage payments?
The Illinois Housing Development Authority has established the Emergency Mortgage Assistance program to provide emergency mortgage relief to Illinois residents.
Those who need financial assistance with their mortgages must act fast; According to Andrew Field, a spokesperson for the housing development authority, Illinois citizens must apply for emergency mortgage relief before September 4th 6pm.
Further eligibility requirements for emergency mortgage relief are that:
- Your household income before March 1, 2020 was less than the maximum allowed for your area.
- You or an adult member of your household has had a loss of income due to COVID-19
- Your mortgage was current through February 2020
- You have unpaid mortgage payments beginning sometime after March 1, 2020
Additionally, state officials stated that applicants must earn less than 50% of the area’s medial income. According to WTTW News, that number is $44,000 for Chicagoans.
Mortgage Relief Program Details
Currently, $150 million is marked for homeowners struggling with their mortgages. As funds are limited it is recommended to complete your application as soon as possible. Only one application per household is allowed and an application is not a guarantee of assistance. If you are approved, you will receive a grant of up to $15,000, you may receive less than $15,000. It is important to note that the applicants, regardless of whether they rent or own, will not receive the grant personally. Instead, the State of Illinois will pay the grant directly to your servicer to be applied against your mortgage.
Landlords that receive these grants must agree that they will not evict their tenant through the end of 2020. State officials intend to provide further relief with the assistance of federal funds in 2021, but that is not yet definitive.
Mortgage and Rent Relief in the State Legislature
Progressive Democrats in Illinois’s House of Representative proposed a bill that would cancel rent and mortgage payments for 180 days, however, the bill did not get very far. This is probably due to perceived conflicts of the Rent Control Act, passed in 1997.
The Rent Control Preemption Act states, in part, that a unit of local government “shall not enact, maintain, or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would have the effect of controlling the amount of rent charged for leasing private residential or commercial property.” 50 ILCS 825/5(b). While local governments cannot interfere with the amount rent charged, the state legislature could legislate some sort of relief. Due to the all too frequent political gridlock, however, it is unlikely that a bill will be worked out that satisfies both parties in the Illinois legislature.
What can I do if I suspect my landlord will try to lock me out?
For Chicagoans who may fear that their landlord may try a “do it yourself” type eviction by changing the locks and preventing reentry, it should be noted that such lockouts are illegal in Chicago. The Chicago Landlord and Tenant Ordinances prevents such conduct. In addition to it being illegal, landlords may open themselves up to huge fines or sanctions if there is circumstantial evidence that they attempted to circumvent the eviction moratorium put into effect by both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.
If you feel like your landlord has acted in defiance of Chicago’s local ordinance or is trying to evict you when it is not legal to do so, do not hesitate to reach out to us at the Kryder Law Group by phone at 312-223-1700, by email at email@example.com, or through the interactive chat client on our website for a free and confidential consultation.
The facts that are specific and unique to your situation will determine whether you are entitled to compensation under the law and whether you can recover monetary damages. It is important to contact our office soon because under Illinois law, there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the offending party. We know these situations are incredibly stressful, so please read the positive reviews on our Google page and see how we’ve helped countless others handle their legal problems or injuries.