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PA Moratorium on evictions ends August 31

August 31, 2020

By Marilyn Le Lodico, Esquire

The Pennsylvania Governor’s executive order issuing a statewide moratorium on residential foreclosures and evictions ends today, August 31, 2020. However, homeowners with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-backed single-family mortgage will continue to receive the protection of the foreclosure moratorium implemented by the Federal Housing Finance Agency until December 31, 2020. Landlords and lenders with questions about commencing an eviction or foreclosure actions following the end of the Pennsylvania moratorium may contact the attorneys in our Real Estate Department.

CARES Act Relief Programs Still Available

Landlords and lenders faced with the choice to commence evictions or foreclosures due to delinquent accounts may instead, consider filing for the  CARES Rent Relief Program or the CARES Pandemic Mortgage Assistance Program that are administered through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. More information about these programs can be found here.

Revised Procedures for Residential Evictions in Allegheny County due to Rent Relief Programs

Landlords intending to file evictions in Allegheny County, PA  may commence actions  on  September 1, 2020, but will be required to abide by a new procedure in connection with available rent relief programs as set forth in by the Order of Court dated August 31, 2020 signed by the President Judge of the Fifth Judicial District.

Specifically, if on or before the initial hearing date, the tenant provides an affidavit or testifies under oath affirming that the tenant has submitted or will submit an application for rental assistance under the CARES Rent Relief Program or any of the other available rental assistance programs, the initial hearing date shall be used to conduct a status conference rather than a hearing. During this status conference, the CARES Rent Relief Program or other program shall be considered by the parties who shall determine if they will move forward with an application.

If both parties agree to move forward with an application for a rent relief program, the hearing shall be continued to allow for sufficient time for the application to be processed as agreed to by the parties and the Magistrate Judge. A hearing shall not occur until the application has been granted, denied, or withdrawn. If, during the status conference, the parties do not both agree to move forward with an application, the case may be postponed to a new date for a hearing on the matter or the Magistrate District Judge may, in his or her discretion,  continue the hearing to allow for an application to be made and processed.

Landlords should anticipate that this new Allegheny County procedure to allow tenants the benefits of rent relief programs may create a significant delay in the adjudication of a residential eviction.

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