NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – It’s the first of the month, which means rent or mortgage payment is due. A lot of people are trying to figure out how to make those payments now that they’re unemployed, or had their hours cut, because of the coronavirus outbreak.
For the time being New Mexicans are not being evicted from their homes if they’re unable to pay rent or mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.
“They’re still accountable for their rental, but the important thing I would suggest is that individuals need to be in contact with their landlords explaining their situation,” said Gabriel Ramirez, with the City of Albuquerque.
Last month, the State Supreme Court issued a temporary moratorium on orders forcibly removing tenants who can provide proof they are unable to pay rent. If a landlord does send you an eviction letter during this time, you’ll have to provide that proof to a judge, who will then decide if your circumstances are a result of the health crisis.
However, this does not protect tenants from being evicted for other reasons, and it’s up to the landlord’s discretion how they implement the contractual agreement, meaning you could still be charged late fees.
On top of that, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is suspending housing evictions and foreclosures until the end of April. The effort is geared at stabilizing the housing market and avoiding a repeat of the spike in foreclosures seen during the 2008 financial crisis.
The city says they’ve seen a big increase in the number of requests for rental assistance. They say they typically get about 50 a month, but in the past week, they’ve received nearly 200.
If you own a home, call your mortgage company, some of them are giving a two month grace period and adding those months to the end of your home loan.