April 3, 2020
On April 2, 2020 Governor Desantis announced that he would be signing an executive order "suspending" foreclosures and evictions in the state of Florida for 45 days. You can read the entire executive order here.
Previously, the Florida Supreme Court Court had entered an administrative order that stated that the clerks of court's requirement to issue writs of possession was suspended through the close of business on Friday, April 17, 2020.
There has been some doubts as to whether the Florida Supreme Court's ruling required that clerks stop issuing writs of possession or merely eliminated their obligation to issue them. Locally, the Pasco and Pinellas County clerks of court interpreted the Florida Supreme Court's order to mean that they should not issue new writs of possession. The Hillsborough county clerk continued to issue writs of possession but the Hillsborough County Sheriff announced that it would not execute on writs of possession until April 20, 2020.
A writ of possession is a document issued by the clerks of Court that gives the sheriffs the power to physically remove people from property.
So what does the Governor's order mean?
The Governor's order "suspends" foreclosure and residential evictions for 45 days (May 17, 2020). It also states that the statute of limitations for those types of cases is tolled for 45 days. The most important change the governor's order makes is that it extends the moratorium on the execution of evictions and foreclosures by an entire month.
Importantly, the order does not eliminate a mortgagor's or a tenant's obligation to pay their mortgage or rent. At the end of this crises, those obligations will still exist. Foreclosures and evictions could be initiated based on payments made during this period.
It will be interesting to see how each clerk of court interprets the governor's order. Does the order merely prevent the issuance of a writ of possession or does it prevent the filing of a eviction or foreclosure action?
The information you obtain on this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.