With a COVID vaccine here and the end of lockdown in sight, there is another issue looming: a wave of evictions. On March 19, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 106 suspending all residential evictions in an effort to provide stability and prevent people from becoming homeless during the pandemic. This moratorium on evictions extends for two months after the public health emergency is declared to be over. With the end of this state of emergency approaching, there is a wave of evictions coming that may cause a significant amount of people to become homeless, and the most at-risk would-be people who have had their homes sold as part of a foreclosure proceeding. While evictions have been halted, the process leading up to the eviction from a property has not been completely stopped. Instead, landlords and property owners have been able to file the required paperwork to make sure that once the state of emergency is lifted, the eviction can proceed as soon as possible.

Of course, the sheriff’s offices will need time to schedule and actually conduct the evictions. But if you are at risk it is important that you begin preparing sooner rather than later. This is especially important if your home sold as part of a foreclosure action and you are still residing in the home. These new owners bought a property they assumed they would have access to either live in or sell for themselves, but the pandemic stopped them. Now they have been stuck paying the taxes and insurance on a property they own but have no access to. This has made them extremely motivated to make sure they can access their property as soon as possible. In most cases this means a writ of possession has been filed, indicating that they have officially taken possession of the property and that they can have the Sheriff’s Office forcibly remove you. In any case, if you feel that you may be at risk of eviction it is important to start planning your next move now, whether that involves staying with family or friends or renting a new apartment or home. In these uncertain times, it is better to be prepared for the lift in eviction moratoriums as the end of this state of emergency is rapidly approaching. Contact our office for guidance.