Boston Real Estate for Sale


Boston Condo Foreclosures, Evictions and the COVID-19

  • Thousands of organizations from around the country have joined together to push the president to extend the national eviction ban set to expire in two weeks.
  • Advocates say a wave of evictions is inevitable if the ban is allowed to lapse.
Boston real estate

Boston real estate

Allen J. Schaben | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

More than 2,200 organizations have written a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to extend the national eviction moratorium.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a ban on evicting struggling renters during the pandemic last September, and that protection is scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

In their letter dated March 15, the organizations, including AARP, the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, warn of a wave of evictions if the protection is allowed to lapse.

They also cited research showing that evictions have led to as many as 400,000 additional coronavirus cases.

“Increased evictions lead to increased spread of, and potentially deaths from, COVID-19,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, just under four million American homeowners are in forbearance. Meanwhile, negotiations over a new stimulus package have yet to culminate in an agreement. Property owners impacted by the COVID-19 housing crisis are struggling to pay mortgages, and the imminent risk of foreclosure and bankruptcy looms large over the industry. Ironically, the housing market seems resilient.

With moratoriums on evictions throughout downtown Boston and the country starting to expire, tenant groups are stepping in to try and save people from losing their apartments

Real Estate Evictions – How Bad Is It?

It’s said that 27 U.S. states still have moratoriums on evictions in place following the COVID-19 outbreak, but the rest of the country has lifted those rules. And in the states where moratoriums are still in place, some landlords are suing to try and get the bans removed.

A recent report from the Aspen Group said 23 million renters across the U.S. are currently at risk of being evicted from their homes.

President Next Move

President Donald Trump said on August 3 that he might consider executive action to impose a sweeping federal moratorium on evictions while a new stimulus package designed to provide pandemic relief progresses through Congress. The previous moratorium on evictions for federally backed mortgages expired on July 24, and several state moratoriums are also set to expire this month.

National Association of Realtors

Instead of extending eviction moratoriums, the National Association of Realtors has asked policymakers to provide rental assistance for those experiencing pandemic hardships.

“If residents are unable to pay their rent, housing providers will also be unable to meet their mortgage obligations, fund their payrolls and pay their property taxes to state and local governments that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. That, in turn, is likely to catalyze a chain of events with potentially devastating financial and economic effects,” The NAR said in a letter sent to congressional leaders on July 31.

While the wrangling goes on, tenant groups are stepping up their efforts to prevent people losing their homes. Several groups recently staged a protest at the New Orleans city courthouse, barricading themselves inside the premises. Due to this, the courthouse was unable to open and proceed with several planned eviction hearings on that day.

Will we be seeing Boston condo foreclosures in the future?

New data from the U.S. Census  in June shows that:

  • 12% of mortgage holder households did not make their mortgage payment on time; 41% of them deferred their payment,
  • Among the owners who paid on time last month’s payment, 44% of them experienced a loss of employment income,
  • 31% of those who did not pay on time used the stimulus package but it was not enough to cover the cost,
  • 63% of the owners have high confidence in their ability to make next month’s payment while 21% have moderate confidence. However, the level of confidence is lower for Hispanics and African Americans. [source National Association of Realtors]

When does a Foreclosure happen?

A foreclosure happens when a bank or mortgage lender exercises their right to recoup their investment by selling the home. During downturns in the real estate market, homeowners can see the value of their home shrink significantly, causing the mortgage to “underwater”. If that coincides with a lost job because of an economic crisis, homeowners tend to stop being able to make payments on their mortgage. That’s when banks typically get busy making foreclosures.

Boston condo foreclosures – Slow process 

But that doesn’t mean Boston condo foreclosures happen quickly.

Most evictions and foreclosures are now on pause across Massachusetts under a new law official say is needed to protect homeowners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Yesterday I signed legislation pausing evictions and foreclosures, to provide additional relief and protections for homeowners and renters during this time when many residents are facing economic hardship,” Baker said in a statement Tuesday. “We thank our legislative colleagues for their careful work on this bill.”

Courts, meanwhile, cannot hear eviction cases or enter judgments while the provisions are in effect, nor can sheriffs carry out executions for possession.

The state Housing Court last month had already postponed most eviction proceedings until at least May.

According to The Boston Globe, landlord groups said property owners do not want to evict tenants, but they say the law goes too far in prohibiting them from starting what are usually months-long legal proceedings and may seek to challenge the law in court.

Will the Boston condo foreclosure rate go up again due to COVID?

That’s what everyone wants to know. Foreclosures can represent a bargain for Boston condo shoppers because foreclosed homes usually sell below current market value. But buyers looking for foreclosure deals should not hold their breath!

In MA the foreclosure process can’t begin yet due to new measures that are being implement., The measure puts evictions and foreclosures on hold for 120 days, or 45 days beyond the day the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted, whichever date arrives sooner. Baker also has the authority to extend the moratorium in increments of 90 days at most, according to the law.

Courts, meanwhile, cannot hear eviction cases or enter judgments while the provisions are in effect, nor can sheriffs carry out executions for possession.

Nonetheless, the Boston real estate market is still in recovery from the big drop in buyer activity this spring. There are still many “forced sellers” on the market who aren’t going into foreclosure, just selling because of changed life circumstances. Meanwhile, mortgage rates are historically low. For those looking to invest in a home in Boston, the summer of 2020 might be the perfect time to buy. 

Boston real estate for sale

Boston real estate



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