Evictions still proceed despite rising COVID-19 cases

Local News

HARLINGEN – For many households the pandemic has made it hard to make ends meet.

The federal government offered protection from evictions but that expired a month ago.

The Texas Supreme Court lifted the hold on evictions nearly a month ago, meaning landlords can now take eviction proceedings against tenants.

“Justice of the peace corps are essentially accepting these petitions which are lawsuits filed by current landlords to be able to evict someone and they’re going full force,” said Attorney Aurelio Garza.  

In Texas, more COVID-19 cases are rising…causing concern of catching the virus if evicted.

Attorney Aurelio Garza says clients have come to him about evictions and had to break the bad news.

“There’s nothing at this point that the law would allow someone to be able to use as a reason. Certainly, you can make an argument but that’s going to go in front of a judge if the proceedings begins,” he said.

There is no stay-at-home orders in place but Garza says things can be done to stay in your home.

“Try to negotiate something with your landlord. If your landlord can accept some kind of payment plan. That they’re willing to work with you, certainly don’t want people coming and kicking you out of your home,” he said.

Courthouses are adapting. In Cameron County, judges will hear cases not in person but by telephone. County officials say they’re working to install a video conference system.

The CARES ACT offers 120 days of eviction relief for federally-back housing. You will not be served a notice until mid-July and the notice must give you 30 days to leave the property.

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