I’m one of the many attorneys that work with the Houston Lawyer Referral Service and you can reach them at hlrs.org and the Houston Houston Lawyer Referral Service is out of Houston, Texas, affiliated with the Houston Bar Association and they pre-select attorneys in several various areas of the law. So if you need a lawyer and don’t know where to turn, you should contact them.
I’m going to talk to you a little bit today about evictions under the COVID rules.
I think many of you know there’s an extension or a moratorium on evictions. The Supreme court right now has said that no eviction trials can be held, no one can have a writ of execution levied against them until after May 18th. Additionally, under the CARES Act, the federal law, any of the properties that are backed by a federally secured mortgage, have a moratorium that goes until August 23rd.
And if you think that your property might be covered by that, if it’s not by the family property, you can look at the national low-income housing coalition. They’ve made a searchable database so you can look and see if your apartment complex or multi-family unit housing is one of these federally mortgaged back properties.
You might also be covered even if it’s not on their list because single house loans could be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. But the only way you’ll know that is if you check the real property records.
So those are two moratoriums that are going on right now. But in many ways the laws have not changed, so once these moratoriums are lifted, there will be trials. We’ve got a backlog probably due to the moratorium and they have waived the normal 10 day period between when they serve you and when they have to have your eviction trial.
But you should not count on that, and the best thing to always do is to try to work it out with your landlord, see if you can agree. If you do, we would suggest you get the complete agreement put down in writing. And if you can make partial payments now and catch up later, that would be wonderful because ultimately you do not want to have an eviction filed against you or, worse yet, an eviction judgment taken against you.
So please try to work that out, if you can’t, you should think where you can move, what you’re going to do and have a plan where you can move when ultimately you do become evicted. But some of the laws, as I mentioned, don’t change at all. If you did get evicted and you think it was wrongfully done or incorrect, you do have five days including the weekends to appeal from your eviction judgment.
The simplest way to do that is if you’re unable to pay the bond is to fill out the affidavit of inability to pay bond and costs, and you can get that for free at the justice of the peace courts and they will get that sworn for you and filed and that will perfect or make complete your eviction appeal, which then it will go on to the County court.
And you might want to seek an attorney. If you need an attorney to represent you or for advice and don’t know where to turn, contact the Houston Lawyer Referral Service, hlrs.org online. Probably the best way to do it now, and they can match you up with an attorney who is pre-qualified in the area that you want to have help in.
So contact us and we’ll help you if we can good luck and stay safe thanks bye.