Washington's moratorium on deferral and payment ends Sept. 30. Here's what you need to know | MCUTimes

Washington’s moratorium on deferral and payment ends Sept. 30. Here’s what you need to know

Washington’s payment moratorium and its so-called “bridge proclamation” —a order that replaced the state’s moratorium on expiration — both expire Sept. 30, bringing an end to two protections from the pandemic to offset the financial burdens imposed by COVID-19.

Here’s what Washington residents need to know before the end of the month.

That is what replaced the state moratorium on evictions. Gov. Jay Inslee issued the proclamation in late June.

The proclamation helped protect tenants from being evicted for any defaulted rent payments between February 29, 2020 and July 31, 2021. A landlord could only initiate the eviction process for missed payments between those dates if there was a rental assistance program and an eviction settlement program in place. in the county where the tenant lived.

Since 1 August, tenants have expected to either pay full rent or an agreed reduced rent or actively seek financing for rent. A landlord can currently evict a tenant for non-payment of rent if none of these actions are taken. However, the landlord must offer the tenant a “reasonable” repayment plan before the eviction process begins, and must provide the tenant in writing with a description of the services and support available to them under the assistance programs.

What happens on September 30?

At the end of the month, tenants can no longer avoid eviction in the event of defaulted rent payments by actively seeking rent financing. From 1 October, tenants are expected to pay either full rent or an agreed reduced rent. If they do not, their landlord can evict them.

Between August 4 and 16, 173,589 households across the country said they were not caught renting and 123,196 said they were not sure they would be able to afford rent by September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest Household Pulse Survey.

What do I do if I still can not afford rent after September 30?

The State Department of Commerce lists rental assistance programs by county on its website. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also lists resources available to renters in Washington on its website.

What is the utility moratorium?

Another order issued by Inslee, this moratorium prohibits utilities from disconnecting water, electricity, natural gas and telephone service to homes due to non-payment. In addition, it prohibits utilities from refusing to reconnect to private customers who were previously disconnected due to non-payment. It also prohibits utilities from charging late fees.

The order has been in place since April last year.

What happens on September 30?

This moratorium also expires, which means that customers are expected to start making utility payments again.

On a Monday Press release from the U.S. Department of Commerce, officials urged people who are behind on their bills to talk to their utilities now about a payment plan when the moratorium expires.

“This moratorium has provided hundreds of thousands of families in Washington with much-needed peace during the pandemic, and now utilities are eager and ready to help their customers make a plan that keeps their services going,” Inslee said in the press release. ‘I urge people to make that call as soon as possible. This call can give a family one thing less to worry about as autumn and winter approach. ”

The governor’s office also asks questions of state utilities. It encourages companies to: provide customers with overdue account information on assistance available to them; offer extended payment plans of 12 months or longer waiving late fees and other expenses incurred during the interruption moratorium, provided that customers sign up for payment assistance and refrain from reporting overdue accounts to credit bureaus or pledging customers with overdue accounts for at least 180 days.

Utilities are not legally obligated to do any of this, but many have signaled that they are willing to work with customers who are concerned about making payments.

More than 500,000 citizens are estimated to have accumulated overdue bills during the moratorium, a press release said. It includes more than 280,000 customers of privately owned utilities, such as Puget Sound Energy.

What do I do if I cannot pay my electricity bills after 30 September?

State Department of Commerce website outlines a plan for customers who may not be able to afford future payments.

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