On May 26, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) Public Health Emergency until June 25, 2020, but lifting a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and certain debt collection activities effective May 28.
On April 27, Reynolds issued an extensive proclamation that, among other things, suspended evictions and foreclosures and instituted a moratorium on all garnishments and new replevin actions through May 27. On May 26, Reynolds released a new proclamation that is silent as to evictions, foreclosures, and other debt collection activities.
In a press conference, Reynolds told media that the moratorium was indeed being lifted, but she would allocate funding that the State received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) to create the “COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program” (“EFP Program”). Administered by the Iowa Finance Authority, the EFP Program is designed to “provide continuous relief” for families who have experienced a reduction in income due to COVID-19.
Iowa officials released the complete details of the EFP Program on Friday, May 29, ensuring that it will be in place on June 1 when many rent and mortgage payments will come due. A primary difference between the EFP Program and the newly expired moratorium is that the Program will provide relief only to residential renters and mortgagors; whereas, the moratorium also applied to proceedings related to commercial and agricultural real property.
The Program provides rent and mortgage payment assistance for current renters and homeowners who are at risk of eviction or foreclosure due to a documented COVID-19-related loss of income that occurred after March 16. However, individuals who are currently “receiving the $600 additional federal CARES Act stimulus unemployment benefits” are ineligible to receive support from the Program. At the Program’s outset, it will provide participants with a maximum of $3,200 in rental assistance or $3,000 in mortgage payment assistance.
For more details about the EFP Program and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Iowa Finance Authority’s website. For regular updates on COVID-19’s impact on the financial services sector, visit the COVID-19 feed here on the CFS Law Monitor.