Can the CARES act save me from eviction?

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Following the COVID-19 pandemic, I have received many calls from tenants who asked me about the CARES Act and whether the CARES Act applies to them.

What is C.A.R.E.S.?
The CARES Act is short for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020. This act prohibits filing new evictions for non-payment of rent against tenants. The ban is to last for 4 months and ends on July 25th.

Who is impacted by the CARES Act?
If your apartment complex takes advantage of the Federal Housing and Finance Agency’s (FHFA) COVID-19 forbearance program, your landlord cannot evict you from your apartment. If the Landlord received a forbearance on his mortgage, the landlord cannot evict you for unpaid rent.

The CARES Act will apply to any property that is “insured, guaranteed, supplemented, or assisted in any way, by any officer or agency of the Federal Government.” That means properties are not allowed to evict you until July 25 if they:

  1. Participate in Section 8 or Housing Choice
  2. Have been purchased by or received loans from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  3. The act also stops landlords from charging late fees on these properties.

Can my landlord evict me before July 25, 2020?
No, the CARES Act does not allow a landlord evict for nonpayment of rent or late fees. After July 25th, the Landlord must give 30 days notice of filing for eviction on the basis of non payment of rent before he can file a suit to evict. As such, the Current CARES Act covers tenants until August 23, 2020.

If you are a Landlord or Tenant with any questions about the CARES Act, give me a call on my cell or text, 832-896-6288. If you have any other legal questions (criminal, family, civil, etc.) or know someone who needs to “talk to an attorney”, give me a call too or send me an email: attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

I lost my eviction case, now what? (Texas specific)

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Evictions in Texas are first heard at the Justice of the Peace level. In larger counties such as Harris County (covering Houston and the surrounding communities), there are different precincts with each precinct being represented by 1 or 2 “places”. You may hear them referred to as JP 5-2 which is short hand for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2.

Back to the question at hand, you went to court, you showed up, you sat through docket call and your case was finally heard by the Judge. The landlord or landlord’s representative was present and the Judge had them “prove up” their eviction – they went over the rent amount, the date of the notice, amount past due, etc. The Judge looks at you and the only thing the Judge wants to know is whether you have or have not paid the rent. If the answer is no, the Judge will rule in favor of the landlord and grant possession and past due rent plus attorney fees if requested.

Depending on the court and the Judge, the Judge may or may not tell you the move out date/date to file an appeal. In Texas, if you lose, you have two options and you need to choose an option before the end of 5 days – (1) move out or (2) file an appeal.

(1) Move out
Pretty self-explanatory, move out before the five days.

(2) File an appeal
If you wish to appeal the JP court ruling, you must file an appeal at the same court house within 5 days of the date of the Judgment. You need to post a bond or file an affidavit why you cannot post a bond with your appeal. Once you appeal, the case is sent to the County Court level and depending on your location – the hearing may be set for a week or even a month or two later. Please note, that during the time you file an appeal, rent MUST be paid into the court registry. If you do file an appeal, keep an look out in your mailbox for a court date, or call the County Court and ask the clerk of the court date.

What happens when I finally go back to court?
When you appeal, your case is heard over at the County Court level, the hearing will be very similar to what happened at the Justice of the Peace level.

What happens if you lose?
Unfortunately, the County Court is the last chance you have to fight the eviction case. If the Judge rules in favor of the landlord you will need to vacate the property.

What if I don’t vacate?
The landlord will file a Writ of Possession and you will be removed from your property by the Sheriff’s office in the county where you live.

I have more questions!
If you are a tenant and/or a landlord and have more questions – contact me anytime by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Disclaimer:  this website and blog posts are for general information and educational purposes only. This blog post and website provides basic information and does not provide specific legal advice to your situation. By using our website, or by communicating with our office by comment, phone, text, or e-mail, you confirm that there exists no attorney-client relationship between you and David Hsu Brogden and Associates. Each legal issue is complex and you must seek a licensed attorney in your specific jurisdiction to discuss your specific situation.

Texas Debtor Rights changes during COVID-19.

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Three days ago, the Supreme Court of Texas issued Emergency Order 14, extending the dates for Emergency Order 10.

Emergency Order 10 extended deadlines that may be beneficial and offer relief to some Texas defendants who are being sued for consumer debt.

Emergency Order 10 was issued on April 9th, Emergency Order 14 does not change the content, instead extends the deadlines previously specified:

-No writs of garnishment can be executed until May 25th. Please note they can still be filed.

-Receivers cannot freeze any accounts until May 18th.

-For all currently garnished accounts, the parties are “encouraged” to reach an agreement on the garnishment.

-Courts will not have hearings for default judgments until May 18th.

-Courts will not Dismiss without Prejudice any case until May 18th.

-The above changes do not apply if the court determines the actions of the judgment defendant (debtor) pose an imminent threat of fraudulently concealing and absconding with funds.

If a creditor is trying to take legal action against you in court, or if you have any questions about your rights as a judgment defendant (debtor), contact experienced consumer rights attorney David Hsu anytime by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Disclaimer:  this website and blog posts are for general information and educational purposes only. This blog post and website provides basic information and does not provide specific legal advice to your situation. By using our website, or by communicating with our office by comment, phone, text, or e-mail, you confirm that there exists no attorney-client relationship between you and David Hsu Brogden and Associates. Each legal issue is complex and you must seek a licensed attorney in your specific jurisdiction to discuss your specific situation.

It’s after April 19th, can I evict my tenant? The answer is –

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I previously posted on my blog that the Supreme Court of Texas issued an emergency order stopping all hearings or proceedings for eviction until April 19th. Now that April 19th has gone and past – can my landlord now file for eviction and take me to court?

The answer is no – the Supreme Court of Texas issued another emergency order extending the deadline to April 30, 2020.

If you are a landlord or tenant and have any questions – or if you have any general legal questions, please feel free to reach out to me by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Please note:

  1. This is only specific for Texas eviction laws, each state has their own so please verify with a licensed attorney in your state;
  2. The situation is constantly changing so this information may be out of date;
  3. The Supreme Court of Texas may issue another emergency order at anytime so this information may also be out of date;
  4. This post is for general information purposes only, as each legal issue is unique and eviction laws are state specific, you must consult with an attorney licensed in your state for the most accurate legal advice.

Disclaimer:  this website and blog posts are for general information and educational purposes only. This blog post and website provides basic information and does not provide specific legal advice to your situation. By using our website, or by communicating with our office by comment, phone, text, or e-mail, you confirm that there exists no attorney-client relationship between you and David Hsu Brogden and Associates. Each legal issue is complex and you must seek a licensed attorney in your specific jurisdiction to discuss your specific situation.

Help, the landlord locked me out, what can I do? Am I evicted?

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Unfortunately, there are many scrupulous landlords out there who take non-payment of rent matters into their own hands instead of going through the legal process. This results in me receiving calls from tenants who come back from work only to find the locks changed or another lock on the door preventing them from getting in.

Can a landlord lock you out?
Yes a landlord can lock out a tenant, but the landlord provide conntact information where the tenant can call at anytime to get access into the apartment.

What does the law say about locking out a tenant?
The law controlling landlord/tenant rights in Texas is found in the Property Code. Specifically, the law about lockouts is found here:

Section 92.0081:

(c) If a landlord or a landlord’s agent changes the door lock of a tenant who is delinquent in paying rent, the landlord or the landlord’s agent must place a written notice on the tenant’s front door stating:

(1) an on-site location where the tenant may go 24 hours a day to obtain the new key or a telephone number that is answered 24 hours a day that the tenant may call to have a key delivered within two hours after calling the number;

What if the landlord refuses to let me back in?
If a landlord refuses to let you into your apartment/house, then you have been wrongfully evicted and the landlord is subject to damages. Contact David Hsu now by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Disclaimer:  this website and blog posts are for general information and educational purposes only. This blog post and website provides basic information and does not provide specific legal advice to your situation. By using our website, or by communicating with our office by comment, phone, text, or e-mail, you confirm that there exists no attorney-client relationship between you and David Hsu Brogden and Associates. Each legal issue is complex and you must seek a licensed attorney in your specific jurisdiction to discuss your specific situation.