With the increase in vaccinations and the reduction of new cases of COVID-19 in Virginia and across the country, many of the existing COVID-related restrictions are now set to expire soon. These include various financial protections that are ending without any plans for renewal.
The additional $300 per week (previously $600 per week under the CARES Act) is scheduled to end in early September.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order which protected millions of Americans from evictions was invalidated by the United States Supreme Court on August 26th, 2021. It was originally scheduled to end on October 3rd, 2021. As a result of this ruling from the Supreme Court, renters are no longer guaranteed protection, and landlords may now resume eviction proceedings (subject to any separate state law limitations).
The federal restrictions preventing foreclosures on federally backed mortgage loans ended on July 31st, 2021. Although the restriction only applied to federally backed loans, many private mortgage lenders voluntarily slowed their foreclosure proceedings by offering COVID-related forbearances (more on this below). As of June 2021, many of these same private lenders have publicly stated that they will resume foreclosure proceedings as soon as July 2021. A related moratorium on evictions from properties where the mortgages are backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (FHFA) is scheduled to expire on September 30th, 2021.
When the Governor declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19, Virginians were protected from having their utilities shut off for non-payment. Under the current order, utilities can resume shut-offs for non-payment 60 days after the state of emergency ends. The state of emergency expired on June 30th, 2021 and the residential utility disconnection moratorium ended on August 29, 2021.
Nearly all local courthouses in Virginia have eased or completely lifted their COVID restrictions. Courts that were previously liberally rescheduling cases during 2020 are overwhelmingly returning to “normal”. This has been witnessed by the number of lawsuits and garnishments that have been filed by creditors in recent months.
While there were no laws passed requiring creditors to offer official forbearances, many creditors started offering unofficial forbearances. Creditors told customers during 2020 that they could put missed payments on the “back end” of a loan. Unfortunately, over the last year, we have also seen that these same creditors run out of patience; which unfortunately ends with a garnishment, repossession, and/or foreclosure. Because the forbearance is an “unofficial” agreement, there is nothing actually protecting you from the aggressive collection efforts by your creditors.
Federal student loan emergency relief flexibilities that suspend loan payments, provide for a 0% interest rate, and stop collections on defaulted loans are scheduled to end on January 31, 2022. After this time, student loan payments will become due and collection efforts will resume.