Locke Lord QuickStudy: Update - Suspension of Foreclosure and Eviction Activities in Florida Due to Covid-19

Locke Lord LLP
May 15, 2020

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has extended Florida’s residential eviction and foreclosure moratorium until June 2, 2020. Executive Order 20-121 was issued on May 14, 2020 and officially extends Executive Order 20-94 which immediately halted the filing of new residential foreclosure and evictions actions in Florida state courts.

Further, the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, in and for Palm Beach County, Florida has cancelled all foreclosure sales up to and including May 29, 2020 per Administrative Order 12.510-04/2020.10. The Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, in and for Duval County, Florida has issued administrative order 2020-14 suspending all residential foreclosure sales and staying the execution on all writs of possession or eviction until May 29, 2020.

Previously, the Miami-Dade Police Department announced that it “has temporarily suspended all eviction activities until further notice.” Similarly, Miami-Dade County has cancelled all residential foreclosure and tax deed sales through May 29, 2020. On May 13, 2020, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida issued Administrative Order 20-10 regarding evictions under the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”).  The Administrative Order requires all plaintiffs in residential eviction actions for nonpayment of rent to file a declaration under penalty of perjury whether or not the property is protected under the CARES Act before any judgment of eviction can be entered.

The Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, in and for Broward County, issued Administrative Order 2020-27-Temp cancelling all residential foreclosure sales and suspending the issuance of writs of possession until such time that the courts resume normal operations. The Ninth Judicial Circuit, in and for Orange and Osceola Counties has issued Temporary Order 2020-11 which suspends all actions related to residential mortgage foreclosure causes of action, cancels all pending residential mortgage foreclosure sales, and suspends all actions related to residential eviction cause of action through May 19, 2020. The Clerk of Court for Hillsborough County, Florida has also issued a notice to all landlords that the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office will not serve any residential eviction notices until further notice.

Courts and counties throughout Florida have acted in a similar fashion. Lenders, loan servicers and landlords should check with local courts and law enforcement to determine the status of all foreclosure sales and evictions. Each Florida county is tasked with completing its own foreclosure auctions and local law enforcement are utilized to enforce writs of possession and eviction. Delays through at least the end of May for all residential foreclosure and eviction activities should be expected.

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center often for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.