MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As coronavirus cases continue to climb, obstacles mount for families working to keep a roof over their heads. It’s especially tough now that the COVID-19 eviction ban has expired. There is help out there. It’s just a matter of getting access to the billions of dollars the federal government sent out to help renters.
“Just because they have the right to charge you. Doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do,” said attorney Mike Working of the Working Law Firm.
National eviction protection put in place because of the pandemic has expired, but that doesn’t mean many renters couldn’t use some grace.
“COVID is a very common one at this time, but there is no legal or valid basis for avoiding your obligations,” said Working.
Attorney Mike Working said if you receive an eviction notice, it’s vital you appear in court.
“If they miss a court date, you lose by forfeit. And all of your possessions and your kids’ possessions will be out on the curb,” he said.
Working said you might want to consider getting a lawyer to represent you as well.
“A court case and trial involves rules, evidence, rules of procedure, rule of interpreting context. Usually, these are rules they do not know,” said Working.
It’s also worth asking your landlord to work with you. Working said if your landlord agrees, there is help available.
“There are renters assistance programs established by the federal government throughout the pandemic,” said Working.
Working said courts dockets are so full of evictions, if you appear, half the cases are dropped.
There is help for renters across Shelby County.
You can find basic information about the county program, eligibility, and contact information here.
Individuals who may be facing imminent evictions, meaning they are in the court system, can fill out the form found on the website. Click here for a direct link.
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