At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis on April 2, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-94, entitled “Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief” (“EO 20-94”).  EO 20-94 provided for a statewide freeze on mortgage foreclosure causes of action and residential evictions based upon the non-payment of rent. As the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in Florida, Governor DeSantis has issued four total extensions to Executive Order 20-94 with the latest one, EO 20-180, being signed on July 29, 2020, and extending the moratorium until September 1, 2020, at midnight.

Up until EO 20-180, there remained some unanswered questions around whether homeowner’s association and condominium association lien foreclosure actions were intended to be covered under the moratorium on mortgage foreclosures established by EO 20-94. Luckily, we’ve now received clarification with this order being specifically tied to the financial impact caused by the pandemic. While the moratorium will continue through August, the moratorium will only relate to “final action at the conclusion of a mortgage foreclosure proceeding under Florida law solely when the proceeding arises from non-payment of a mortgage by a single-family mortgage adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency;” and to “final action at the conclusion of an eviction proceeding under Florida law solely when the proceeding arises from non-payment of rent by a residential tenant adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.”

One could argue that the limitation laid out in EO 20-180 that restricts the moratorium to single-family mortgages shows that was the intention of the previous executive orders as well. You can read Executive Order 20-180 in its entirety here: https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-180.pdf.

For the latest news on COVID-19’s effects on community associations, contact our association law team for more information.