Federal & State Protections

Here’s what you need to know about the state and federal protections for renters and homeowners, in response to COVID-19.

Federal Guidelines:
 

* * * * * NEWS UPDATE * * * * *

CDC issues new eviction moratorium, suspending eviction proceedings through Dec. 31, 2020. Learn more.

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The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) provides a temporary moratorium on evictions for most residents of federally subsidized apartments, including those supported by HUD, USDA or Treasury, as well as a moratorium on filings for evictions for renters in homes covered by federally backed mortgages. Learn more and see if your rental home is on the list.

 

Below is a recap of the CARES Act.

 

  • Mortgage Relief: Two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:

  1. Suspension of New Foreclosures: Your lender or loan servicer may not foreclose on you prior to Aug. 31, 2020. Specifically, the CARES Act prohibits lenders and loan servicers from beginning a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you, or from finalizing a foreclosure judgment or sale, during this period.
     

  2. Forbearance: If you experience financial hardship due to the coronavirus public health crisis, you have a right to request a forbearance for up to 180 days. You also have the right to request one extension for up to another 180 days. You must contact your loan servicer to request this forbearance. There will be no other fees, penalties or additional interest (beyond scheduled amounts) added to your account.

    If you don’t have a federally backed mortgage, such as an FHA loan, you still may have relief options through your mortgage servicer or from your state. Virginia recently passed the Governor’s amendments to HB 340, which provides 30 days of forbearance for homeowners with COVID-19-related income loss.

  • Renter Relief: While the federal CARES Act’s 120-day moratorium on certain evictions ended July 24, 2020, Virginia recently passed the Governor’s amendments to HB 340, which provides 60 days of continuance for renters and impacted properties experiencing COVID-19-related income loss. This protection is effective for 90 days after the Governor’s declared state of emergency ends.

* Federal Guidelines credited to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

State Guidelines:

  • House Bill 1420 caps late fees for rent payments at 10 percent of the periodic rent or 10 percent of the remaining balance due, whichever is lesser. This will help prevent cascading late fees, allowing charges only on the amount due.
     

  • House Bill 340 delays rental evictions or mortgage foreclosures for individuals who are not currently covered under state or local protections or through the federal CARES Act. Under this new law, a tenant may receive a 60-day continuance of an eviction proceeding if they appear in court and provide written evidence that they are not receiving payments or wages due to the state of emergency declared by the Governor. Virginia recently passed the Governor’s amendments to HB 340, which provides 60 days of continuance for renters and impacted properties experiencing COVID-19-related income loss. This protection is effective for 90 days after the Governor’s declared state of emergency ends.

  • Utilities: The State Corporation Commission (SCC) issued an order directing utilities it regulates, such as electric, natural gas, and water companies in Virginia, to suspend service disconnections for 60 days to provide immediate relief for any customer, residential and business, who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
     

  • Support for Impacted Businesses: Small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the Commonwealth affected by the COVID-19 public health crisis can now apply for low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $2 million from the SBA to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other expenses. To submit a loan application through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
     

  • Faster Unemployment Benefits: Governor Northam has directed the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the one-week waiting period to ensure workers receive benefits as soon as possible.
     

  • Fewer Restrictions: For individuals receiving unemployment insurance, Governor Northam has directed the Virginia Employment Commission to give affected workers special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.
     

  • Enhanced Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits: Workers may now be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if:

    • Their employer must temporarily slow or cease operations due to COVID-19.

    • They have been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and are not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer.

    • They must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer.

* State Guidelines credited to the Governor's Office of Virginia​

This website provides information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. For financial advice specific to your circumstances, please consult your financial advisor, attorney or a certified housing counselor. The information on this site is subject to change without notice.