Eviction hearings on hold due to COVID-19 outbreak

Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 10:50 PM CDT
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Right now, some people are worried about losing their homes during this pandemic.

The Trump Administration asked major mortgage lenders to defer payments for homeowners.

But what about renters?

If a landlord is financed through a lender that offers deferment they may choose to work something out to defer rental fees for their tenants.

However, suspended mortgages will be due once the deferment period ends, along with any rent that was deferred.

But this doesn't apply to everyone who rents.

Greene County Presiding Judge Michael Cordonnier says eviction proceedings are on hold right now, a decision he says, was handed down by the state supreme court to suspend most court hearings.

"It's definitely scary," said Kristin Sarah.

She, like many others, are worried about losing their homes.

"There's only so much that they can do and since the government is giving you either a stimulus check or unemployment then that is what you are to use to pay your rent. Some of these companies don't seem to care," she said.

Her job was put on hold once the COVID-19 virus outbreak hit our region and money is tight.

"We risk being put out and evicted in the middle of everything else going on," she said.

Greene County Presiding Judge Michael Cordonnier said, "It's not lost on us that the community is undergoing a lot of stress right now."

He explained that the Missouri Supreme Court made operational changes statewide due to the outbreak. Non-emergency hearings, like evictions are suspended.

"We're not hearing those cases that have been filed earlier. New cases are being set out 45 days. That will hopefully take us out past the current suspension," he said.

But the courts cannot interfere with landlord-tenant negotiations. Eviction cases can still be filed.

"That legal process won't take place right now. Likely will take place some day. We can't do this forever. But right now, since we're not hearing the cases and we're not issuing those orders, they'll probably all come to a stop," said Cordonnier.

Sarah said,"Where are you going to go? What are you going to do if you're put out? I guess it would be good to know that can't happen."

The guidance on this, is to certainly continue to pay rent or contact your landlord to see what arrangements can be made.

There isn't a statewide moratorium on evictions in Missouri or Arkansas, yet.

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