Evers suspending evictions, foreclosures during COVID19 outbreak

Order effective for 60 days

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Last updated on March 30th, 2020 at 01:07 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is temporarily suspending any foreclosure or eviction actions as the state deals with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Evers said in a news release he has directed Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to order the suspension. The order prohibits landlords from evicting tenants, other than to prevent a threat of serious physical harm to others, and prohibits mortgagees from commencing civil action to foreclosure on real estate, for 60 days.

The order appears to prohibit such actions against both commercial and residential tenants and property owners.

Likewise, local sheriff’s departments may not conduct sheriff’s sales of mortgaged premises nor can they act on any order of foreclosure during this time period, according to the order.

“During this time individuals, families, and small businesses may see disruptions in paychecks due to losing hours, tips, business, or employment. This is another step we can take to prioritize the health and safety of Wisconsinites during this public health emergency,” Evers said. “Evictions and foreclosures pose a direct and serious threat to the health and well-being of Wisconsinites, ensuring they are able to keep a roof over their heads and those in social services can prioritize assisting those who currently do not have shelter is critically important.”

The order states that people who are removed from their homes are at an increased risk of coming into contact with others. Government and health officials recommend people avoid groups of 10 or more, and stay at least 6 feet apart from others.

Evers also made clear that the order does not relieve a person’s obligation to pay their rent or mortgages. He urged people to continue making their mortgage and rent payments if they are able.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.