How the First Week Executive Orders May Impact Tenants, Homeowners, Students, and Unemployed Workers

President Biden recently signed several executive orders that affect renters, homeowners, student borrowers, and recipients of unemployment benefits. Here is a summary of four of them, along with actions you may want to take, if applicable:

  1. The eviction moratorium for renters is extended to the end of March for those filing single with $99,000 or less per year, or $198,000 or less for couples filing jointly. The extension does not alleviate the amount of back rent owed to landlords. To qualify for protection, you must meet the income requirements and attest to the following:
    • All efforts have been made to obtain government-provided assistance.
    • You are unable to make a full rent payment due to a loss of income, unemployment, or out-of-pocket medical expense.
    • You have made partial payments whenever possible.
    • An eviction would likely result in homelessness.

      If you are not able to pay your rent, you may qualify for emergency rental assistance. You can check with HUD and The Treasury Department to learn more.  To request protection from eviction, complete this form and present it to your landlord. For more information on this aid see States will soon start giving out $25 billion in rental assistance (cnbc.com)
  2. Federal agencies making or guaranteeing mortgages are asked to extend the moratorium on foreclosures and the period to request payment forbearance on federally guaranteed mortgages to the end of March 2021.
    If taking advantage of the forbearance on interest and payments of your mortgage be aware: Once the forbearance period that you and the lender agreed to or provided under the different orders ends, payments will begin again and not only will your payments start again, but your delayed payments of principal and income plus any escrows will become part of the debt and make your payoff larger and longer. Consider if this might cause more pain in the future and how you might address it.
  3. Federal student loan interest and payment pause continued to end of September.
    Borrowers can make payments thereby reducing principal more quickly since no interest is accruing. If you have not made payments during this suspension, make plans for dealing with these payments when they may start again in October 2021.
  4. Unemployed workers may refuse unsafe work without losing unemployment benefits.
    If you are unemployed and collecting unemployment insurance benefits, you may refuse work deemed unsafe without fear of losing your benefits.

For more information on these and other executive orders, visit:
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/politics/joe-biden-executive-orders-first-week/index.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/biden-executive-orders.html

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