Foreclosures and Evictions during COVID-19
Both the State of Kansas and the federal government have implemented temporary restrictions on access to courts that affect many businesses’ and individual’s rights. On March 17, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-06. It became effective on March 17, 2020 at 12:01 p.m. In the order, the Governor directed “all financial institutions operating in Kansas to temporarily suspend the initiation of any mortgage foreclosure efforts or judicial proceedings and any commercial or residential eviction efforts or judicial proceedings until May 1, 2020.” There has been disagreement as to the scope of that order – whether it applies only to newly filed foreclosures and evictions, or to the “initiation” of other “efforts” within currently pending foreclosures and evictions, however, actions taken by the Kansas Supreme Court effectively resolve the question.
On March 18, 2020, the Kansas Supreme Court issued an Administrative Order that curtailed the operation of the judicial system except for certain matters designated by the Court as “emergency operations.” Matters that are not included within “emergency actions,” and, therefore, will not be heard in Kansas Courts while the Administrative Order is effective include most civil actions, including pending and scheduled trials, breach of contract cases, tort cases, collection cases, foreclosures, replevins and evictions. The Court’s order was effective on March 18 and will continue until further order of the Court. Applicable statutes of limitations and court imposed deadlines are suspended until further order of the Court. Access to the district court clerk’s offices and court personnel is restricted to on-line filings; the clerks’ offices will otherwise be closed. No cases will be dismissed for lack of prosecution.
On a national level, President Trump has directed HUD to suspend all evictions and foreclosures through April, 2020. Also, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, has authorized FHA to implement immediately a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single-family housing with FHA-insured mortgages. This follows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac directives to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least sixty days for homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage.
We recommend you contact legal counsel if you currently are involved in a mortgage foreclosure or eviction matter before taking any action that may be deemed in violation of the Governor’s Executive Order.
If you have questions on this order, or other foreclosure or eviction questions, please contact us at 316-267-2000.