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COVID-19 and Foreclosures and Evictions

COVID-19 and Foreclosures and Evictions

March 20, 2020

By Martin Pringle Attorneys, Rick Griffin & Samantha Woods

During these unprecedented times, we at Martin Pringle are dedicated to providing you with the same timely and trustworthy assistance we always have. We have been monitoring the actions being taking by governments and courts across the nation and identifying how those actions may impact your business. To that end, we wanted to relay to you that this week Kansas Governor Kelly issued Executive Order 20-06, which is attached.

In Executive Order 20-06, Governor Kelly stated that “… the adverse economic impacts of COVID-19 include the potential for Kansans to miss mortgage or rent payments as a result of lost wages and now is not the time for creditors or landlords to initiate foreclosure or eviction proceedings…” She then went on order and direct “all financial institutions operating in Kansas to temporarily suspend the initiation of any mortgage foreclosure efforts or judicial proceedings and any commercial or residential eviction efforts or judicial proceedings until May 1, 2020.”

At this juncture, the Governor has not issued any statements clarifying what Executive Order 20-06 means or how it will be applied, so other than the language of the Order, we do not have any further information on how 20-06 will be construed. Based upon the plain meaning of 20-06, however, we believe that it will apply only to new mortgage foreclosure efforts, proceedings, or evictions, not those currently pending. For matters currently pending, however, there may be some disruption where court intervention is required as the Kansas Supreme Court has issued an order reducing court actions to only “emergency operations.” What impact that has upon pending cases will depend upon each specific case status, so if you have specific questions about a case, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Further, other than traditional banks and credit unions, we do not know what other lending entities may be considered “lending institutions.” We also do not know at this time whether foreclosure efforts other than those for mortgages, i.e., those for personal property, will be allowed to move forward, but those actions do not per se appear to be suspended.

We are aware that there may be efforts to seek clarification from the Governor’s office on several of these points. We will endeavor to keep you updated as the impact and scope of this Order develops.

While we do not have all of the answers at this time, we stand ready to assist you however we can and will provide additional information as we receive it. If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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