On November 13, 2020, Governor Pritzker entered Executive Order 2020-72 which amends the eviction moratorium. Effective immediately, associations may file a residential eviction lawsuit against owners unless the person is deemed a “Covered Person” under the Executive Order. In most cases this will allow associations to again seek possession for unpaid assessments unless the owner submits a Declaration. The Executive Order defines a Covered Person as a person who submits a Declaration, under oath, stating that s/he meets all four (4) parameters below:

  1. Expects to no more than $99,000 in annual income for 2020 or nor more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return; was not required to report to IRS income in 2019; or “received an Economic Impact Payment under Section 2001 of the CARES Act”;
  2. Is unable to make full payment to Association due to COVID-19 related hardship such as: substantial loss of income, loss of hours, or increase in out of-pocket expenses which directly relates to hardship;
  3. Is making “best efforts to make timely partial payments…as close to full payment as the individual’s circumstances may permit” and when also considering their non-discretionary expenses (such as food, utilities, internet access, school suppose, medical expenses); AND
  4. Is likely to become homeless or “force individual to move into and live in close quarters” with others.

Even if an owner is deemed a Covered Person, the Executive Order clearly states they are not relieved of their financial obligation to pay assessments. Additionally, the Executive Order allows an association to evict a Covered Person when that “person [or owner’s tenant] poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to property.”

Keep in mind that county sheriff departments are still not allowed to evict residential tenants/owners unless they are a “direct threat to the health and safety of other tenants or an immediate and severe risk to property.” Nonetheless, the new Executive Order will allow associations to begin the process of obtaining possession of a home or unit to collect unpaid assessments.

Our office will begin prosecuting eviction cases. Upon receipt of a new collection matter from the Association, we will send an initial collection letter with the Declaration enclosed. If an owner fails to return a proper Declaration and/or does not dispute the collection matter, we will send 30-Day statutory demand for possession. If an owner properly submits a Declaration, we will proceed with a small claims action.

Please let our office know if you have any questions or if you want to discuss taking action on delinquent accounts.

This article is being provided for informational purposes only.  This article does not constitute legal advice on the part of Keay & Costello, P.C. or any of its attorneys.  No client or any other individual or entity should rely on this article as a basis for any action or actions without confirming the advice.  If you would like legal advice regarding any of the topics discussed in this article and/or recommended procedures for your entity or business going forward, please contact our office. 

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