Getting back to normal

8 Replies

With jurisdictions being closed and many delaying court proceedings until July 1, once they do open up how long will it take to get rid of the backlog?

Curious as to others opinion. In speaking with many of the attorneys I use, many predict it will take 6+ months.

If that is the case, one way to avoid this is to offer cash for keys.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming court backlogs ?

That estimate sounds about right, if not longer, especially if/when they operate the rest of the year with limited capacity even after they open. In addition, they'll be constantly hit with more and more ongoing cases from the after effects of the past couple of months. For worse off systems in C/D areas, I think that backlog will definitely go into 2021. I think realistically it's better to do a cash for keys than wait it out for that long, it just wouldn't make sense financially if you know you can get better tenants. 

I have recently offered 2 tenants cash for keys, which they ignored. I think even when the courts open back up it still will not be very effective strategy.Most tenants are quite aware of the time frame of things happening . If they realize that it may be many months before they are evicted they will continue to stay in the property. Here in Maryland it is roughly a 90 day process to get someone out. I am anticipating it to be a 6-9 month long process once the courts open back up.

Same thing with the foreclosures. We have recently filed on the confessed judgement clause on our note hoping that will encourage the borrower to do a deed in lieu. No response as of yet.

The courts are accepting filings, they just are not scheduling any hearings.

I don't think the magistrate courts will be as bad as the circuit courts.

Most evictions I have ever had, do not request a court date so I just have to wait a few weeks to wait out the required time before I can schedule a set out. They usually leave before the set out date. I have only had to do one full setout.

I have 2 Quiet Titles in Circuit Court. One is almost done just waiting on a final court date.

The other QT is being contested so I know I need a half day court date so no telling how long it will take to get this court date scheduled.

I think it will mirror the length of the lockdowns in that particular state. If the lockdown was 3 months, it will take 3 months to clear the backlog.

I don't think much if anything has been added to court dockets during the shutdown. If you're already in the pipeline, I think judges will be ready to make quicker decisions to get things off their calendars to get caught up and be prepared for future cases.

This projected timeline is specific to Maryland but it could provide a glimpse as to how other states may approach things (I grabbed this from an investor group on Facebook).


The stay on residential eviction orders is lifted on July 25, 2020.

Any Failure to Pay Rent Case filed from 3/27/20 through 7/27/2020 must
be accompanied by a Declaration of Compliance with the CARES Act. (This
time period is due to the Federal prohibition on evictions with federal
subsidies or federally backed mortgages.

The Court will reopen in Phases, including prioritizing the scheduling
of cases. The basic order will be: Domestic violence/emergencies,
criminal, landlord/tenant, civil.

Emergency breach of lease involving threats or injury to people or
property, and emergency wrongful detainer actions trials will begin on
June 5, 2020 (Phase II).

Rent escrow actions, provided local departments of health are able to
provide inspection, tenant holding over actions trials, as well Warrants
of restitution, will begin on July 20, 2020 (Phase III).

Civil trials (i.e. post move out collections cases, suits for failure
to return security deposits), and Failure to Pay Rent cases will resume
on August 31, 2020 (Phase IV).

Courts fully operational on October 5, 2020 (Phase V).

Rent court dockets are expected to be staggered throughout the day, at least in Baltimore County.

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