Court requires landlords verify filings meet federal law

On April 16, the Supreme Court adopted Administrative Order No. 2020-08 to support compliance with the ongoing federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures where the tenant is in a covered housing program or the mortgage is federally backed, among other conditions.

The order requires that there be a clear verification that any eviction or foreclosure filing is in compliance with the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which imposed the 120-day moratorium.

“By providing clear guidance to trial courts, this administrative order will help ensure that federal law regarding evictions is followed and everyone is treated fairly,” said Chief Justice Bridget M. McCormack.  “Clarity will help courts handle cases consistently, help landlords understand the law, and help tenants be protected as the federal law intended.”

For example, the CARES Act imposes a moratorium, until July 25, 2020, on the filing of summary proceeding actions to recover possession of premises for nonpayment of rent that meet certain parameters.

If an action is filed prior to July 25, 2020, under MCR 4.201 for possession of premises for nonpayment of rent, a complainant must submit verification on an approved SCAO form indicating whether the property is exempt from the moratorium.

Federally-backed mortgages include those financed or purchased by FHA, VA, USDA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, among other agencies.

Covered housing programs include supportive housing for the elderly, the Section 8 Housing Voucher program that allows low income tenants to rent private dwellings at affordable rates, and a wide range of other programs.

Visit the Judiciary Response to COVID-19 page for additional information and guidance from SCAO and other resources for courts on a wide range of topics, including:

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