As you may have seen, the North Carolina Courts system has made multiple shifts in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The most notable of these shifts is a significant reduction in operations to limit the amount of social contact. With these changes has come a lot of questions, including what impact this will have on eviction and foreclosure proceedings.
This only got more complicated over the weekend when the Courts issued a follow-up memo which outlined an overarching delay in these court proceedings. Following conversations with representatives from the Administrative Office of the Courts, here is what we know.
The NC Court decision to stop all eviction and foreclosure court proceedings does not prevent the filing of eviction or foreclosure paperwork, nor does it relieve the tenant or obligated property owner from any obligations under their lease or mortgage. Thus, landlords can proceed with the eviction and banks can proceed with foreclosure protocols. Once the pandemic has passed and court processes return to normal operations, these can proceed immediately.
Representatives of the Administrative Office of the Courts have relayed that their directive does not prohibit emergency evictions from operating as normal. These are situations where criminal activity is occurring which puts the health, safety, and welfare of others in danger. These proceedings can go before the magistrates rather than through the typical district court. At this time, magistrates are operating a normal.
We recognize that this guidance may still result in landlords potentially losing rent payments during this time. Tenants should be reminded that they are still required to comply with the terms of their lease unless granted an explicit waiver by you. NC REALTORS® Government Affairs staff continues to encourage the NAR lobbying team to ensure that landlords are allowed to receive assistance through proposed Small Business Administration (SBA) loans or debt forgiveness programs.
If you are having issues with getting an emergency eviction heard or are having any other issues with these new processes, please email us. We have been asked by the NCAOC to provide feedback regarding any issues so they can be resolved.