Bendett & McHugh General Partnership

Rhode Island state COVID-19 update provided by Bendett & McHugh General Partnership

Posted: 10/20/20

Rhode Island is currently under a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has extended the State of Emergency until November 2, 2020 unless renewed, modified, or terminated by a subsequent executive order.

Foreclosure:

Foreclosures have not been expressly limited however, Governor Raimondo issued an executive order expanding the number of people allowed to gather from no more than five to no more than fifteen. As a result, title insurers in Rhode Island are split as to whether a foreclosure sale held during this limitation on gathering would be considered insurable. The argument that a sale would not be insurable is based on the theory that attendance at an auction would be limited thereby chilling the sale. Insurers are beginning to approve affidavits attesting to the circumstances surrounding sale and number of attendees at an auction.

Additionally, Banking Bulletin 2020-5 allows for mediation notices, pursuant to RIGL 34-27-3.2, to be sent 120 days after the date on which a forbearance agreement terminates. This interpretation applies to (1) all mortgages not in default at the time the forbearance agreement was reached and (2) all mortgages where a forbearance agreement was reached on or before the 120th day of default. This means that no penalty will accrue if the notice is mailed to the mortgagor within 120 days after the date the forbearance agreement terminates.

Eviction:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has advised that Eviction filings could proceed beginning on June 1, 2020 in an equitable manner. Note however, that counsel must also balance any restrictions on eviction that may be applicable pursuant to the CARES Act. This likely requires an additional attorney affidavit to be filed with the complaint certifying compliance with the Act.

The District Court issued a new Eviction Protocol effective September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020 to comply with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order titled: The Temporary Halt of Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID 19. The Order provides, in part, that a Landlord or property owner, with a legal right to pursue eviction, “shall not evict a person or pursue an eviction or possessory action from a residential property”. The Order is limited to actions for non-payment of rent and sets forth the definition and requirements for said protection. The Order requires the Tenants to file a “Declaration”, as described in said Order and to provide said Declaration to the Landlord. No protection is afforded under the Order until a Declaration, is executed under penalty of perjury and is provided to the Landlord. Once given, however, protection is immediately invoked, and the Landlord is immediately prohibited from pursuing any eviction action. The Tenant’s obligation to pay rent is continuing and not affected by the Federal Order.

For questions regarding Rhode Island updates, please contact Ashley Torres at atorres@bmpc-law.com or 860-606-1036.

Post by – Bendett & McHugh General Partnership

Bendett & McHugh General Partnership

Rhode Island state COVID-19 update provided by Bendett & McHugh General Partnership

Posted: 07/16/20

Rhode Island is currently under a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has extended the State of Emergency until August 2, 2020 unless renewed, modified, or terminated by a subsequent executive order. 

Foreclosure:

Foreclosures have not been expressly limited however, Governor Raimondo issued an executive order on May 29, 2020, expanding the number of people allowed to gather from no more than five to no more than fifteen. As a result, title insurers in Rhode Island are split as to whether a foreclosure sale held during this limitation on gathering would be considered insurable. The argument that a sale would not be insurable is based on the theory that attendance at an auction would be limited thereby chilling the sale. Insurers are beginning to approve affidavits attesting to the circumstances surrounding sale and number of attendees at an auction. 

Additionally, Banking Bulletin 2020-5 allows for mediation notices, pursuant to RIGL 34-27-3.2, to be sent 120 days after the date on which a forbearance agreement terminates. This interpretation applies to (1) all mortgages not in default at the time the forbearance agreement was reached and (2) all mortgages where a forbearance agreement was reached on or before the 120th day of default. This means that no penalty will accrue if the notice is mailed to the mortgagor within 120 days after the date the forbearance agreement terminates.

Eviction:

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has advised that Eviction filings could proceed beginning on June 1, 2020 in an equitable manner. Note however, that counsel must also balance any restrictions on eviction that may be applicable pursuant to the CARES Act. This likely requires an additional attorney affidavit to be filed with the complaint certifying compliance with the Act. 

For questions regarding Rhode Island updates, please contact Ashley Torres at atorres@bmpc-law.com or 860-606-1036.

Post by – Bendett & McHugh General Partnership