Eviction and Foreclosure Relief

Resources for All Members 

Nationwide eviction moratorium extended through 3/31/21:

On January 20, 2021, President Biden extended the Centers for Disease Control's nationwide eviction moratorium through March 31, 2021. The moratorium covers millions of tenants who have lost income during the pandemic from being evicted for nonpayment of rent.

If you live in New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania you may be covered by the federal eviction moratorium. Click here to see who qualifies for this moratorium.

If you live in New York you are currently covered by your state’s more comprehensive eviction moratorium. New York's eviction and foreclosure moratorium has effectively been extended to February 26, 2021 for all residents. New Yorkers who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who submit a hardship declaration form are prevented from being evicted or having their home foreclosed on until May 1, 2021.

    Federal mortgage relief: 
    Homeowners with federally backed loans are protected under the federal foreclosure moratorium until February 28, 2021. Homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are protected under the foreclosure moratorium until February 28, 2021.

    Read more about the nationwide eviction moratorium, its eligibility criteria, and what you can do to be protected against eviction here.

    Pre-paid legal assistance for housing issues:

    HTC-represented workers, who have access to pre-paid legal assistance through their union contract, can contact the Pre-Paid Legal Fund with housing issues including tenant/landlord issues, evictions, and foreclosures. Retirees from IWA shops are also eligible for this service. For more information call: (212) 586-6400; ext. 4258.

    Additional Resources for New York State Residents:

    New York State’s Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium (in effect until 5/1/21 for many New Yorkers):

    Governor Cuomo has issued a state moratorium on all evictions that provides more comprehensive relief for New Yorkers. Currently, the state’s moratorium is only in effect until February 26, 2021. All pending eviction and foreclosure proceedings, as well as any eviction and foreclosure proceedings started on or before January 27, 2021, are suspended for a 60-day period and cannot go forward until February 26, 2021. This provision applies to all New York tenants, regardless of financial hardship and to all New York property owners who own less than 10 dwelling units, regardless of financial hardship. Please note: tenants are still obligated to pay their rent. 

    New York tenants and homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can submit a Standardized Hardship Declaration Form to their landlord (tenants), mortgage lender or local assessor (homeowners), or in court to prevent or halt an eviction proceeding against them. Tenants who are living with someone who is at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19 are also eligible to submit the Standardized Hardship Declaration Form. Once the Standardized Hardship Declaration Form is submitted to the landlord, mortgage lender, local assessor, or a court, no eviction and foreclosure proceedings can be filed until May 1, 2021. Eviction and foreclosure proceedings already underway will also be suspended until May 1st.

    Governor Cuomo provided some additional relief to renters, which are set to expire on January 29, 2021, including:

    • No Fees. Renters cannot be charged fees for late or missed payments during the moratorium. 
    • Security Deposits can be Used Towards Rent. Renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can use their security deposit to pay rent and repay their security deposit over time.
    New York’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act:

    On June 30, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, which gives additional protections to renters in New York State.

    • The Act prohibits courts from ever evicting tenants who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic for non-payment of rent. It applies to any unpaid rent that accrues or becomes due during the covered period, which is defined as starting March 7th, 2020 and ending once all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
    • Courts cannot issue an eviction order if any part of the county in which the renter resides is still shut down due to COVID-19.
    • In eviction proceedings, renters can now use financial hardship due to COVID-19 as a defense. The law instructs courts to examine a renter’s income before and during the COVID-19 shutdown, liquid assets, and their eligibility for, and use of, government assistance such as food stamps and unemployment benefits.

    Despite these protections, landlords can still seek money judgements for unpaid rent that has accrued during this period.

    Assistance paying your rent:

    If you are a New York State renter and you lost income during the period from April 1-July 31, 2020, you may be eligible for New York State’s Homes and Community Renewal’s (HCR) COVID Rent Relief Extension Program. The program provides eligible households with a one-time rent subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord and does not need to be repaid.

    Applications for the COVID Rent Relief Extension Program are open from December 18, 2020 - February 1, 2021. Read more about the program, its eligibility criteria, and how to apply here.

    Tax Lien Sales and Negative Credit Reporting:

    New York homeowners who file a Standardized Hardship Declaration Form will also be protected against:

    • Tax lien sales of their property until May 1, 2021.
    • Credit discrimination if the homeowner has fallen behind on mortgage payments. This includes negative reporting to any credit agency of the granting of a stay on foreclosure proceedings, late fees assessed during your forbearance plan period, or a stay of tax lien sales on the property.
    Free legal services to prevent foreclosure:

    The Homeowner Protection Program, a network of 87 community-based organizations throughout the state vetted by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, is offering free housing counseling and legal services to New York Residents facing foreclosure. Call 1-855-HOME-456 or 646-786-0888 to get referred to a counselor or attorney or visit their website. 

    Additional Resources for New York City Residents:

    Assistance paying your rent:

    If your work schedule was reduced as a result of the coronavirus crisis and you are unable to pay your rent, you may be eligible for cash assistance to help you pay for rent and other necessities. Visit the ACCESS HRA website to fill out an eligibility application. Once you finish your application, an HRA staff member will call you to complete your eligibility interview.

    Protection from eviction:

    All pending eviction orders in New York City are still suspended until further notice. New York City renters still have additional rights due to the pandemic:

    • New York City Housing Courts are now open for emergency cases. Emergencies include if your landlord has illegally locked you out of your home without a court order, if you need emergency repairs, or essential utilities like heat or hot water. You can start an emergency case online or over the phone. For more information visit www.nycourts.gov or call 833-503-0447 (toll-free).

    At this time, your landlord cannot evict you without going to court and getting an order from a judge. 

    • Anyone with knowledge of City Marshals attempting to execute on warrants of eviction can report this activity by calling DOI's Bureau of City Marshals at 212-825-5953.
    • If you have received an eviction notice or a warrant of eviction or motion to enforce a warrant, you can receive legal help through the city’s “right-to-counsel” law. Call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline to access these services.
    • For additional information on tenant protections in New York City, visit www.nyc.gov.
    Stop debt collectors from contacting you during this crisis

    If you are a NYC resident facing financial difficulties because of the coronavirus, you can request that debt collectors stop contacting you about your existing debt. The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs has created a letter template that you can fill out and mail to the debt collectors that contact you. Once the debt collector receives your letter, they cannot continue to contact you so long as the state of emergency in NYC persists (with very few exceptions). 

    For more information, visit nyc.gov

    To request debt-collecting agencies stop contacting you, you can fill out this form provided by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs and mail it to the debt collecting agency that is contacting you.

    For help with writing the letter, you can schedule a free financial counseling appointment with the City, here.

    Additional Resources for New Jersey Residents:

    Protections from evictions and foreclosures:

    On March 19th, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 106 that placed a moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures throughout the state. During the period of the eviction moratorium, which at present will continue through March 22, 2021, no one may be removed from their home as a result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding, with rare exceptions for violence or endangering other tenants.

    New Jersey residents may also be covered by the federal eviction moratorium which provides protection for renters for even longer, until March 31, 2021.

    Additional rental assistance: 

    On April 24th, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 128 allowing renters to use their security deposit, as well as their portion of any interest and/or earnings accumulated thereon, towards rent payments due during the Public Heath Emergency and up to 60 days after the Public Health Emergency ends.

    According to the order, tenants will not have to pay back their security deposit, but would still be responsible for any money spent by the landlord that would have been reimbursable via the security deposit as outlined in their original lease (like damage to the property). If a tenant extends or renews their lease, then the tenant will have to pay back the security deposit in full either six months after Governor Murphy declares an end to the COVID-19 health crisis or on the date that the current lease agreement is extended or renewed, whichever is later.

    This order will remain in place until 60 days after Governor Murphy declares an end to the COVID-19 health crisis – currently March 22, 2021.

    The New Jersey Division of Housing and Community Resources offers a variety of programs including rental assistance. Visit their website to complete an online screening and determine if you are eligible.

    Mortgage relief:

    On March 28th, 2020, Governor Murphy announced that financial institutions will provide mortgage forbearance and financial protections for New Jersey Residents facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19.

    Under the proposal, New Jersey residents who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 may be eligible for the following relief upon contacting their financial institution:

    • 90-Day Grace Period for Mortgage Payments. Financial institutions must allow borrowers financially impacted by COVID-19 to delay mortgage payments for up to 90 days, consistent with applicable guidelines.
    • No Negative Credit Impact. Financial institutions will not report late payments to credit reporting agencies, consistent with applicable guidelines, for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19-related relief.
    • Relief from Fees and Charges: For at least 90 days, financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related fees for customers who have requested assistance.

    You should contact your bank/lender directly to take advantage of this relief. For a list of financial institutions signed on, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, and more information about the relief visit the State’s website.

    If your bank or mortgage service is not cooperative, you can file a complaint online with the Department of Banking and Insurance or by calling (609) 292-7272 or 1-800-446-7467.

    Important Note: During the period of the state eviction moratorium, which at present will continue through March 22, 2021, New Jersey homeowners cannot be removed from their home, even if a final judgment of foreclosure has been entered and a sheriff’s sale of the property has been completed.

    Free foreclosure and pre-foreclosure counseling:

    If you are a New Jersey homeowner facing hardship, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance offers free counseling through its Foreclosure Mediation Assistance Program. Read more about finding a counselor in your area here.