COVID-19 UPDATE FROM REISENFELD & ASSOCIATES, LLC
As states are beginning to take the early steps to loosen COVID-19 based restrictions, we wanted to take this time to update you on the current status in Courts in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia. Widespread limitations remain in place, not only due to CARES Act and other investor directives, but also due to state and local orders.
INDIANA EXTENDS ITS EMERGENCY ORDER ANOTHER 30 DAYS
In March, the Governor issued an executive order suspending all evictions and most foreclosure activity until the end of the emergency. The order on foreclosures and evictions was tied directly to the General Order declaring emergency. On May 1, the Governor extended the state of emergency until June 4. As a result, virtually all foreclosure activity is suspended. Although the language of the order seemed to suggest only that new foreclosures could not be filed, the Indiana Attorney General publicly declared that its interpretation was that all foreclosure activity was suspended. A few county Sheriffs have proceeded to schedule sales, although we expect many of those will end up being cancelled.
OHIO COURTS ARE MOVING SOME THINGS
Ohio has had a more piecemeal approach with individual counties making the call on what cases can and cannot proceed. Some Courts have recently indicated they will proceed on some cases – in particular ones with vacant or abandoned property. Most notably, the Cuyahoga County courts have started to move forward on these cases.
KENTUCKY STATEWIDE EVICTION DELAY CONTINUED
Kentucky has extended its statewide on eviction activity – no filings may be made until 30 days from May 31. Sales are being postponed on a county by county basis.
WEST VIRGINA MANY COURTHOUSES CLOSED TO PUBLIC
There is not a statewide prohibition on non-judicial sales in West Virginia, but the continued closure of most courthouses creates a practical problem as that is the typical location for calling sales.
CURATIVE AND OTHER TITLE LITIGATION CAN STILL PROCEED IN OH, KY, WV
While there are certainly delays in most civil litigation, many courts are starting to proceed and hold hearings (via video or telephone) on civil cases. Cases not involving the sale of property (curative matters, for example) can continue so that these issues may be resolved, and the properties proceed to sale once the moratoriums are lifted.
LISTS OF AFFECTED COURTS AND DELAYS
As part of our service to our clients, we maintain an up to date of all court moratoriums. If you need the current list, please contact us [email protected] We are here to serve you. As an essential business, we have continued to operate at full capacity in all our offices in our states. Should you have any questions about how COVID-19 is impacting your portfolios in our states, please feel free to contact us.