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Jacksonville FL Rent Eviction Rules During Coronavirus


Delicia Ivins - Thursday, April 9, 2020

Jacksonville FL Rent Eviction Rules During Coronavirus



Rent was due just nine days ago. 


Many lease agreements allow cause to begin eviction proceedings as early as 3 to 5 days late on payment. 


With 10 million US citizens currently filing for unemployment, over 500,000 have applied already in the State of Florida alone. 


What should you do if you are a tenant that has lost their job or is affected by financial hardship right now due to covid-19, or if you are a landlord that has tenants that now have lost or reduced income streams?


Mario Gonzalez, owner of Navy to Navy Homes and a member of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors weighed in during a recent interview with First Coast News


Mario said for tenants, “The biggest thing that they can do right now is just communicate. Communicate to your landlord or communicate to your property manager and let them know what financial distress you are in.”


mario gonzalez navytonavy interview


Evictions in Florida: But can you be evicted right now for non-payment? And can homeowners have their homes foreclosed on during the Coronavirus pandemic? 


On April 2nd, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order to provide relief to renters and homeowners. Evictions in Florida and foreclosures are suspended for 45 days statewide to help reduce economic strain and allow Floridians to continue to shelter-in-place. The month-long stay at home order comes as Florida reports over 12,000 cases of the novel Coronavirus, and over 200 deaths. 



What should landlords be doing right now? In light of the new non-foreclosure order? 


“Landlords are worried too. Many depend on their tenant’s rents to make mortgage payments,” said Gonzalez. 


Many mortgage companies are working with home and property owners during this time. 


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are working with their service providers to allow up to 12 months of forbearance


Deferment is another option, and in many ways better. 


In a payment deferment situation, the lender allows you to pause payments for a period of time. 


The payments are then added back to the loan, but at the end of the loan term. 



What is the longest that someone could defer mortgage payments? 


Mario said that, “the longest I’ve heard so far is 120 days.” 


Currently, there are lender deferral programs from Bank of America, Ally Bank, Suntrust, and BB&T. Some of these providers are allowing up to 120 days of deferred payments, based on the situation. 


If your mortgage is not through one of the above lenders, an FHA loan, or a loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, check with your service provider on hardship programs available to you during this time. 



What if my lender doesn’t want to help me? 


If your lender is not willing to work with you, Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, suggests reporting them to your State Attorney General’s office and the Consumer FInancial Protection Bureau. “You’ve got a long-term relationship with them and they have certain obligations under the law,” says Rheingold. “Contacting them before you are behind is a good thing to do.”


Additionally, you may also want to reach out to your bank or local credit union for help. Many of these institutions have hardship programs available that can help. 


Kelly Long, financial planner and member of the American Institute of CPAs’ Consumer Financial Education Advocates, advised “Don’t wait until your mortgage payment is due to find out about this, call today.” 


Homeowners should communicate with their lenders to find what programs are available to them now, as many programs will require an application and processing time. 


For property owners working with a property management company, make sure to keep them in the loop about whatever you find out as well. 



What about forbearance on a loan. What does that mean? 


Forbearance is an option that allows homeowners to postpone payments under hardship circumstances. 


While this option can provide relief, interest will accrue on your loans. 


As you won’t be making payments toward the principal balance, you will pay more interest in the long run, than if you had made your regular payments. 



What about tenants? What can we do? 


While the Florida state non-evict mandate is in place for the month of April, your credit could still be at stake. 


Communication with your landlord or property manager is key. 


Gonzalez suggests, “Everyone is in this together. So if the tenants can continue paying on a partial basis and just stay within a month of currency, then the landlord can communicate to their financial institution and really kind of move this train together.” 


Some property owners or landlords may require something in writing. 


Consider making a partial payment offer that is reasonable based on your independent financial situation. 


Remember, shelter, food, and water are top priorities. If you have some work from home and/or children working on school at home, the internet may also be a priority. 


If you cannot make a payment at all, make sure to let your property management company or landlord know as soon as possible and work together to make a plan to pay for the lost rent once you are back to work.


You could offer to divide the lost payment over the course of 3-6 months and add it to your regular rent to catch back up. 



Will not paying my rent affect my credit score?

Maybe.


Generally speaking, monthly bills like rent won’t show on your credit report, as they are generally not reported to credit agencies. 


But your landlord or property owner could send your case to debt collectors who report delinquencies on your credit report, which can impact your credit score


Another reason why, as Gonzalez said, “The most important thing [right now] is communication.”



What about the government COVID-19 stimulus checks? 


In a recent interview for Fortune.com, Erica York of the Tax Foundation said “the fastest the federal government has ever issued stimulus checks was six weeks. With that in mind, expect your stimulus check to arrive sometime in May or later.” 


To help get your check as soon as possible, make sure that you e-file and include direct deposit information on your Federal taxes. 



Are you a landlord and want to learn more? 

Check out our latest videos on Facebook for updates, tips, and what to do to protect yourself now. 


Check out our latest videos on Facebook for updates, tips, and what to do to protect yourself now. 

Jacksonville FL Rent Eviction Rules During Coronavirus

Want to learn more? Check out these videos from Mario.

Tenant Non-Payment Due To COVID-19

DIY Landlords COVID-19 Housing Tips



Local Jacksonville, FL Area Rent Help Services and Resources


There are some local agencies that may be able to help you if you find that you are unable to make your full rent payment, or even a partial payment. 


Keep in mind, there may be long phone holds, you may have to leave several messages, as so many are out of work right now, resources are limited and may be restricted or unavailable. 


Emergency Financial Assistance Program


Rental assistance Jacksonville | Help with rent Duval County


Rent and Utilities Assistance Jacksonville



Author

Delicia Ivins

Delicia Ivins LOVES real estate. After she and her husband bought a fixer-upper property and flipped it, they took their 2 kids on a one-year National Parks tour while living in an RV. Since then, Delicia has dedicated her business to helping great realtors stand out from the crowd by writing fun and thought-provoking articles that engage audiences. She can be reached on LinkedIn or online at MissionMarketing.Today.


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