Several important deadlines are approaching as we prepare to closeout 2020. But probably one of the most crucial is the federal eviction moratorium, set to expire at the end of the month.
Unless Congress intervenes, the eviction ban expires December 31, 2020, and time is of the essence for homeowners trying to keep their homes.
The moratorium was put into place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help people keep their homes during the pandemic. But, thousands of Texans could still be homeless come January.
We checked in with Dallas real estate attorney Rachel Khirallah who tells us when the moratorium on evictions are lifted, landlords who have already filed lawsuits against their tenants will actually start getting them heard, and set by a judge.
Across the state of Texas, and the country, Khirallah says courts are expecting a 50% increase in eviction filings, alone.
"It's some dire times right now,” said Khirallah. “The best advice I can offer is talk to your landlord and see if there is anything that you can do to try and work things out with them. See if you can make partial payments.”
There are resources available to renters and homeowners, right now.
The latest news from around North Texas.
There's the Legal Aid of Northwest Texas - a nonprofit organization that provides free legal help to low-income residents in 114 Texas counties.
The Texas Tenants' Union, also a non-profit that Khirallah says has a lot of helpful information on their website, including tenants' rights, and other forms of monetary assistance that might be available.
"The important thing is, despite it being panic mode, you've got to be proactive because there are things that you can do to try and lessen the burden of this. If you are an individual who had their home foreclosed, and that's why you're now considered a tenant, you know there are also attorneys that might be able to call in the foreclosure sale itself, and may be able to get some sort of legal protection,” said Khirallah. “So, it's important to reach out if you think something is done improperly and assert your rights."
Khirallah says it's also important to note: An eviction is not going to happen overnight. A landlord has to file a lawsuit, get a trial date, and then actually go to trial and get the order before they are allowed to displace you from your home.