See below and attached for the latest draft of a call for a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. Please circulate and ask for organizations – community groups, activist groups, nonprofits, etc. – to sign in support. If you get any groups to sign on, please report back and I’ll add them as a signatory. Joe McGuire <email@example.com>
We are calling on the Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately order an emergency moratorium on all residential evictions and foreclosures until 60 days after the end of the state of emergency recently declared as a result of the ongoing public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or until 60 days after Michigan’s public schools are opened for regular operation, whichever is later. This moratorium must also apply to post-judgment activity such as the execution of eviction orders that have already been entered.
Tenants, mortgage borrowers, and land contract buyers who have fallen behind in regular payments during the state of emergency should be given until at least 60 days after the end of the state of emergency to pay any outstanding arrearages before facing eviction or foreclosure. Statutory redemption periods for mortgages and land contracts should be tolled until 60 days after the end of the state of emergency.
Courts across Michigan have entered administrative orders suspending all or part of their dockets, including evictions and foreclosures in some cases. But this inconsistent and piecemeal approach is insufficient to meet the demands of this crisis which call for broad and immediate statewide action.
The dramatic and unprecedented economic effects of this crisis are already being felt by residents across Michigan. Workplaces are being closed and jobs are being eliminated. It is an entirely foreseeable and understandable consequence that as a result of this crisis, many in Michigan will struggle to meet their financial obligations through no fault of their own. They should not then face eviction or foreclosure in the midst or in the immediate aftermath of a pandemic.
Allowing courts to conduct evictions and foreclosures would exacerbate an already-growing public health crisis. Residents should not have to decide between exposing themselves to crowded courtrooms or having a default judgment entered against them and losing their homes. Michiganders should not be forced to lose or change their residences at a time when experts are advising all to stay home as much as possible.
States and municipalities across the country are already taking unprecedented measures to protect the health and well-being of their residents in this time of crisis. The President of the United States has declared a national emergency and ordered the Department of Housing and Urban Development to suspend all evictions and foreclosures until April. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan’s Supreme Court absolutely has the power to place a moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures during this crisis and its aftermath, and the unprecedented circumstances now faced by Michigan residents demand it.
Detroit Justice Center
We The People of Detroit
Detroit People’s Platform
Center for Civil Justice
Detroit Eviction Defense
Moratorium Now Coalition