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Florida Governor Suspends Mortgage Foreclosures and Residential Evictions

April 6, 2020 Articles Real Estate

In recognition of COVID-19’s impact on the ability of Floridians to make mortgage and rent payments, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order #20-94 on April 2 suspending the ability of mortgage lenders and landlords to bring actions for foreclosure or eviction for a period of 45 days from the date of the order (including any subsequent extensions). The order does not relieve an individual from making mortgage or rent payments. 

The suspension on foreclosure proceedings applies to both residential and commercial mortgages. The suspension on eviction proceedings, on the other hand, is limited to residential tenancies. 

Businesses are still subject to eviction for failure to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although a commercial landlord can commence eviction proceedings, the landlord may not, however, be able to finalize the eviction and remove the tenant. On March 24, the Florida Supreme Court issued an order suspending the Florida Rule of Civil Procedure requiring clerks to issue writs of possession. Writs of possession are the final court orders in an eviction proceeding necessary to remove an evicted tenant. That order stays in effect until April 17, unless subsequently extended.

The suspension on eviction proceedings is also limited to evictions arising out of a residential tenant’s failure to pay rent due to the COVID-19 emergency. Residential landlords may still commence eviction proceedings for other defaults under a lease. 

Williams Parker’s COVID-19 response team is continuing to monitor these and other developments, and advise on issues arising from the Coronavirus.