WisBar News: Governor Suspends Commercial and Residential Evictions and Foreclosures:

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  • WisBar News
    March
    27
    2020

    Governor Suspends Commercial and Residential Evictions and Foreclosures


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    State Capitol

    March 27, 2020 – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, at the direction of Gov. Tony Evers, today issued a 60-day emergency order that temporarily bans commercial and residential evictions and foreclosures in Wisconsin.

    Emergency Order #15, among other orders that have been issued, is a response to public health emergency triggered by the spread of the novel (new) coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 (the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2).

    The order notes the threat of eviction and foreclosures pose a significant and direct threat to personal security and the public’s health “by removing the ability of persons to stay in their home” and avoid contact with infected persons.

    Commercial evictions and foreclosures, the order states, “also create a likelihood of personal interactions inconsistent with necessary social distancing measures, hurts Wisconsin businesses, destabilizes local economies, and threatens designated essential businesses and operations.” The order proclaims the following:

    1. Landlords are prohibited from serving any notice terminating a tenancy for failure to pay rent.

    2. Landlords are prohibited from serving any notice terminating a tenancy unless the notice is accompanied by an affidavit attesting to the reasonable belief, and the basis thereof, that a failure to commence eviction proceedings will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person.

    3. Landlords are prohibited from commencing a civil action of eviction unless the following conditions are met:

    (a) the eviction action is not based on failure to pay rent, and

    (b) the judicial action seeking eviction is accompanied by an affidavit attesting that the eviction is not based on a failure to pay rent and to a reasonable belief, and the basis thereof, that a failure to proceed with the eviction will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person.

    4. Landlords may not deliver a writ of restitution to the sheriff, nor may the sheriff act on eviction orders unless the following conditions are met:

    (a) the eviction order was not based on a failure to pay rent and

    (b) the Writ of Restitution is accompanied by an affidavit attesting that the eviction is not based on a failure to pay rent and to a reasonable belief, and the basis thereof, that a failure to proceed with the eviction will result in an imminent threat of serious physical harm to another person.

    5. Nothing in the above order shall be construed to affect the operation of Wis. Stat. § 704.25 [which pertains to holding over after expiration of a lease].

    6. Remote notarization is permissible for purposes of this Order.

    7. Mortgagees are prohibited from commencing a civil action to foreclose upon real estate.

    8. Mortgagees are prohibited from requesting or scheduling a sheriff’s sale of the mortgaged premises.

    9. Sheriffs may not conduct sheriff’s sales of mortgaged premises nor may sheriffs act on any order of foreclosure or execute any writ of assistance related to foreclosure.

    10.Nothing in this Order shall be construed to affect the ability to commence a civil action to foreclose upon real estate under Wis. Stat. § 846.102 [pertaining to abandoned premises].

    11.No provision in this order should be construed as relieving an individual of their obligations to pay rent, make mortgage payments, or any other obligation an individual may have under a tenancy or mortgage.

    Some circuit courts previously effectively suspended evictions in their courts, which did not apply to every county or to commercial evictions. However, the governor’s new emergency order now bars residential and commercial evictions in all counties statewide.




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