Biden Asks Congress to Extend Federal Eviction Moratorium

46 Replies

Hello Bigger Pockets: 

I just read this article in the Wall Street Journal online and wondering what the thoughts are out there about this subject: 

Biden Asks Congress to Extend Federal Eviction Moratorium - WSJ

"The Biden administration won’t move to extend a federal moratorium on the evictions of tenants who fell behind on rent in the Covid-19 pandemic in the wake of a court ruling, but it is asking Congress to authorize such an extension.

President Biden would have “strongly supported” a move to further extend the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium, scheduled to expire on Saturday, but that option is no longer legally viable after a recent Supreme Court ruling, the administration said in a statement by press secretary Jen Psaki.

State and local governments have struggled to distribute $47 billion in federal money aimed at helping tenants who can’t pay rent because of the pandemic-triggered downturn, leaving many people at risk of being forced out of their homes when the moratorium expires.

Just $3 billion of the aid authorized by Congress in December and March had been delivered to landlords and tenants as of June 30, the Treasury Department said in a report last week. About 8.2 million adults were behind on their rent or mortgage as of July 5 and have low confidence they can pay on time next month, a Census Bureau survey showed."

I've never understood why they punish the landlords and put us at risk.  Afterall, we still have mortgages to pay!  

It would make more sense to force the mortgage companies to freeze their mortgages and then penalize landlords who still charge rent.  At least mortgage companies will continue to earn income from primary home mortgagees.

Can Congress decide on anything with only 2 days time left (and they are supposedly going on summer vacation then)?

I'm kinda curious on where all that stimulus and child credit money which was supposed to be used for important things like rent has gone to?  After all, one can only buy so many things at Walmart before getting bored doing so.

If this continues I suspect many more landlords will just throw up their hands and put their rentals on the market...thus, in the end, providing even less rent choices for tenants.

Supreme Court ruled the CDC didn't have the authority to order the moratorium. Congress probably does. We'll have to see the details if this passes, and possible loopholes. Eg not evicting people for non-payment of rent, but because their month to month lease has expired. 

In both my PA and MO markets there are 'Help Wanted' signs everywhere. Anyone live in a city that isn't in this predicament? 

It has gotten to the point where I've decided I'm going to get another passport - sadly it's only going to get more clownish here.

I can see it getting slipped into the infrastructure bill they are working on.  Most bills these days are hundreds if not thousands of pages with only a few hours debate.  No one knows what is in these bills and I propose a quiz where if you can’t pass you can’t vote since you obviously aren’t informed about the legislation you are about to pass.  Im curious what the issue is though getting the money out.  Luckily I have been fine however I see posts on here about tenants being behind but not cooperating on their side of getting the landlord paid.  If they would let us submit our claims without as much tenant involvement I think it would help the situation.  I just posted a rental and had several applicants moving due to their landlord selling.  No way to know if it was fears of COVID since they all said they were on time or increased home values but I can’t help but think it was a factor.  Either way it has worked out for me though as rentals are scarce and prices are way up to where I can’t afford to rent my own houses.  

The fact that there is $47B in money and only $3B has been requested says either there aren't as many people behind on rent or those who are are deadbeats.

I'm glad it can't be extended anymore and I hope those who are behind are dealt with quickly by the courts.  They have had plenty of time and opportunity to apply for assistance and didn't.  At some point you have to rip off the bandaid.

There are landlords who have shared stories on BP that have not gotten rent since January 2020. We are approaching two years of no rent, mortgage forbearance is ending and these people don't qualify for assistance. These landlords have no right to even have their story heard in court. How is this right in America?  

Here are my thoughts:

- The CDC argued in front of the Supreme Court that there was no need to end the eviction moratorium because it was ending soon and they would not be extending it. CDC flat out lied. They had every intent of extending it. Thankfully Justice Kavanaugh went on record saying he didn't believe the CDC had authority. That is the ONLY reason Biden is asking Congress instead of just having the CDC extend it.

- Biden called on federal departments to extend the moratorium on any federally backed loans or programs. That affects landlords with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed mortgages, which is most every loan out there for small investors and home investors. This also includes VA loans, FHA loans, Section 8 recipients, etc. Even large multifamily loans are affected. The question is does congress need to authorize this or will the agencies just push the policy under their own authority?

- Biden cited one reason for the extension is due to people not being able to get vaccinated. Let's be real here, anyone not vaccinated is only in that situation because of their own choice. The shots are free, available everywhere and people in need can get rides to the sites. I am sorry but if you refuse the vaccine, you don't get the right to complain about it not being safe to work or that you shouldn't have to pay rent. 

- He says some cities have not recovered. What city doesn't have "help wanted" signs everywhere? I realize some states and cities have chosen to stay closed. They did a bad job distributing assistance. The problem is you are pushing a FEDERAL mandate out to protect a few mismanaged states. Those states can pass their own eviction moratorium. It really seems there is political intent here to hurt states that are in full recovery. Playing politics with people businesses and livelihood is wrong.

- There is tons of money flowing. The only people who have not gotten assistance fall in one of two categories:

1. They don't qualify. We have seen stories on BP about tenants who were given eviction orders before COVID even started. They have literally sat in the properties for over a year, while the landlord knows they won't qualify for assistance or ever get money from them. Why can't we all agree (Biden and his party) that this is wrong? Why not let the courts decide if people have hardship or not? That is called due process and it is constitutional right. 

2. They do qualify, but make no effort to get help. Some people just mentally shut down or don't care because they can't be evicted. This group of people is even worse than the first, because they can get help but just decide to screw the landlord. Threat of eviction is the only motivation to get them to take action. I have even suggested that states should give check writing authority to the courts for assistance. When they show up in court for eviction with a year unpaid rent, have the clerk of courts write checks to landlords based on a judges order. Let the people stay in the property with the understanding "going forward you must get assistance or get a job and pay rent, next time you will be evicted."

Originally posted by @Eric James :

Supreme Court ruled the CDC didn't have the authority to order the moratorium. Congress probably does. We'll have to see the details if this passes, and possible loopholes. Eg not evicting people for non-payment of rent, but because their month to month lease has expired. 

I sure hope this bold part gets challenged if they were to pass any kind of legislation mandating landlords to quarter people in their homes against their wishes.

anyway, that's just more lip service from the big guy. nothing will happen in congress/senate to extend this (i hope). 

Originally posted by @Gail K. :

If this continues I suspect many more landlords will just throw up their hands and put their rentals on the market...thus, in the end, providing even less rent choices for tenants.

OR turn them into STRs if possible....

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

There are landlords who have shared stories on BP that have not gotten rent since January 2020. We are approaching two years of no rent, mortgage forbearance is ending and these people don't qualify for assistance. These landlords have no right to even have their story heard in court. How is this right in America?  

At least the cities/states have also paused property tax payments for those landlords right?   Again /s 

Originally posted by Scott M.:
Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :

There are landlords who have shared stories on BP that have not gotten rent since January 2020. We are approaching two years of no rent, mortgage forbearance is ending and these people don't qualify for assistance. These landlords have no right to even have their story heard in court. How is this right in America?  

At least the cities/states have also paused property tax payments for those landlords right?   Again /s 

Lol, actually when you don't pay taxes, they attach a lien to your property. Then they sell your house at a tax sale. 

Government needs their money to keep those city employees sitting at home during COVID and to give free benefits to your non paying tenant. 

Originally posted by @Gail K. :

I'm kinda curious on where all that stimulus and child credit money which was supposed to be used for important things like rent has gone to?  After all, one can only buy so many things at Walmart before getting bored doing so.

There have been several studies on this. They differ in numbers between studies and they change based on whether it was the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd vote-buying handout stimulus payment, but they all point to the same thing:

Around 68% of the money was placed into savings or used to pay down existing debt. Paying down existing debt did not include back rent, but it did include things like mortgage payments.

Only about 20% was spent on necessary living expenses including past due/current rent.

About 8% was spent on entertainment/leisure. 

The main fault with these numbers is that they don't take into account that the people who spent the handout on X, they may have still spent money on X without this handout. We have no way of knowing how many people needed this handout or they wouldn't have been able to buy X.

We've all seen stories of people (even some city leaders) who were able to pay rent, but didn't In many cases because of the inability to evict during the Moratorium. In other situations, tenants got the Covid Money and spent it on something else. 

In My Opinion, this program would have had a much more stable base if the money was targeted (PAID) to Landlords of folks who were behind on rent. 

There were numerous avenues for graft, corruption, and misdeeds in this government goat rope, and you can bet it happened!

Vaccinations have been readily available for a couple months. Business can't find help.  Jobs everywhere. I can hardly find skilled trades.    Yet, we need to extended the eviction moratorium.  Search Twitter Trends for 'eviction' and see half the politicians demanding an extension.  Must be nice to have that Gov job / benefits and demand the Feds control other people's property.  

As a follow on, Congress did not extend:

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-business-health-coronavirus-pandemic-us-supreme-court-65d530199d4dd2c99b9839fcd9c22294

WASHINGTON (AP) — A nationwide eviction moratorium is set to expire Saturday after President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress worked furiously but ultimately failed to align on a long-shot strategy to prevent millions of Americans from being forced from their homes during a COVID-19 surge.

Originally posted by @Kenny Dahill :

I've never understood why they punish the landlords and put us at risk.  Afterall, we still have mortgages to pay!  

It would make more sense to force the mortgage companies to freeze their mortgages and then penalize landlords who still charge rent.  At least mortgage companies will continue to earn income from primary home mortgagees.

Because there are only three things that are certain in this world: death, taxes, and banks never take it Greek.

Originally posted by @Kenny Dahill :

I've never understood why they punish the landlords and put us at risk.  Afterall, we still have mortgages to pay!  

It would make more sense to force the mortgage companies to freeze their mortgages and then penalize landlords who still charge rent.  At least mortgage companies will continue to earn income from primary home mortgagees.

 Only thing about having mortgage servicers not required payment is now you are shifting the burden from tenants to landlords, and landlords to servicers. This suggestion is in great irony because you are doing what everybody is doing for the tenants, shifting the burden to a different group of people. 

the good news is amazingly Congress voted not to extend the moratorium after all. My hope for a free market United States has been slightly reignited.

Originally posted by @DeWitt Gibson :

As a follow on, Congress did not extend:

https://apnews.com/article/joe... (AP) — A nationwide eviction moratorium is set to expire Saturday after President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress worked furiously but ultimately failed to align on a long-shot strategy to prevent millions of Americans from being forced from their homes during a COVID-19 surge.

 The last part is what gets me (being forced from their homes).  They have had plenty of opportunities to apply for rental assistance, pay part of the rent, etc and I'd bet a fair number of them couldn't be bothered to apply or have the money and refused to pay the rent.  Maybe I am a cynic, but reading some of the stories about people who were evicted and then had money to stay at a hotel for a month says something.

Originally posted by @Kenny Dahill :

I've never understood why they punish the landlords and put us at risk.  Afterall, we still have mortgages to pay!  

It would make more sense to force the mortgage companies to freeze their mortgages and then penalize landlords who still charge rent.  At least mortgage companies will continue to earn income from primary home mortgagees.

Haven't you heard that all landlords are swimming in money, therefore, we can go years without rent? Seriously, I like your idea, but common sense is like swimming upstream with this administration.