Proposed Illinois Legislation Would Freeze Evictions for Four Months
HW has obtained a copy of a proposed amendment to the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Act that would prevent lenders from evicting former owners or tenants from foreclosed property during the months of December, January, February and March -- each and every year. The amendment to Illinois House Bill 4195 -- not yet posted to the Illinois General Assembly's Web site -- comes as legislators at both federal and state levels are grappling with a mortgage and housing slump that threatens to push the nation into a recession. Click here to read the full proposed amendment. According to the proposal, lenders unable to evict during the four months in question would be entitled to "a reasonable rental charge for the use of the residential real estate." Industry representatives have strongly opposed the proposal, saying it would have a "chilling effect on third party bidders" as well as leading to "the probable deterioration of the mortgaged property," according to a letter sent to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's office, and obtained by HW. That same letter questioned the consitutionality of the proposed amendment, as well. "I doubt the [Illinois] legislature will impose a moratorium on property taxes, insurance or HOA dues," said one source, on the condition on anonymity. "How about property maintenance? The city of Buffalo is already aggressively enforcing its code requirements." The proposal is an attempt to extend and formalize so-called "holiday moratoriums" on eviction activity, although the four month window being considered by Illinois legislators is signficantly longer than most voluntary moratoriums imposed by lenders, which usually last through December. It was unclear who proposed the amendment to Illinois' foreclosure act, although the original bill was submitted by Rep. LaShawn K. Ford in the middle of December to make a slight technical change to the language of the act. Ford's original proposal did not propose the amendment to the bill now under consideration.