As the nation has struggled financially due to the shutdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the federal government placed a freeze on foreclosure and eviction proceedings by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other government agencies. Many of the country’s leading mortgage lenders and banks also announced programs designed to assist homeowners facing difficulties making their mortgage payments.
The specifics of the programs offered by the various lenders can vary widely, as not all institutions can afford to go very long without payments from their borrowers. Such inconsistencies have left many homeowners still worried about what will happen in the next few weeks and months. With this in mind, lawmakers in Illinois are working to pass a bill that would offer relief to renters, homeowners, and lenders before the new month begins.
Bill Would Suspend Rent and Mortgage Payments
Last Friday, Representative Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) introduced the COVID-19 Emergency and Economic Recovery Renter and Homeowner Protection Act. “We have to make housing an absolute top priority,” Ramirez said. She expressed that families should not have to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or buying food.
If passed and signed into law, the bill would suspend mortgage and rent payments for homeowners and renters who have been affected by the coronavirus health crisis. The measure would also enact a statewide 180-day moratorium on all foreclosure proceedings—extending the protections offered by the federal foreclosure freeze. In addition to the suspension of payments and the moratorium, the bill also contains provisions to:
- Cancel rent debt accrued by renters affected by the COVID-19 shutdown;
- Create a fund to compensate mortgage lenders and landlords for payments missed by affected renters or homeowners;
- Ensure that mortgage lenders offer reasonable forbearance programs to affected homeowners;
- Prevent penalties or property seizures related to missed property tax payments or assessments; and
- Prevent rental property owners from fining renters for missed payments or reporting missed payments to credit bureaus or tenant screening agencies.
The bill contains a sunset clause, which would keep its terms in effect until the governor’s disaster proclamation related to COVID-19 expires.
Both chambers of the state legislature will be in session through Friday, May 22. The sponsors of the bill hope to get it approved in both the House and the Senate this week before sending the measure to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk. The hope is to have the governor sign the bill before June’s rent comes due.
Call a Lake County Foreclosure Attorney
The last couple of months have been extremely tough on everyone, and we know that you might have questions about what to do if you are struggling to pay your mortgage. At Newland & Newland, L.L.P., we are here to help you find the answers you need. Call 847-549-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Lake County foreclosure defense attorneys about your situation today.