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HB 2877 - Establishes the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act - Illinois Key Vote

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Title: Establishes the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that establishes the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act.

Highlights:

 

  • Defines "court file" as the court file created when an eviction action is filed with the court (Sec. 9-121.a).

  • Requires any State agency administering this program to create a process to provide rental assistance directly to eligible renters and to obviate or minimize the necessity of lessor or utility provider participation in applying when the lessor or utility provider (Sec. 5-15.b):

    • Refuses to accept a direct payment; or

    • Fails to cooperate with an application for assistance.

  • Specifies nothing in this Act can be construed as precluding any administering State agency from capping or setting a limit on the number of emergency rental payments made on behalf of any single household (Sec. 5-15.d).

  • Requires the administering State agency to make best efforts to give further prioritization to the following eligible households (Sec. 5-25):

    • Located within a disproportionately impacted area based on positive COVID-19 cases; 

    • That has a documented history of housing instability or homelessness; or

    • That has a significant amount of rental arrears.

  • Requires the administering State agency to provide notice to an applicant upon finding that a submitted application is defective or should otherwise be considered ineligible, denied, or rejected (Sec. 5-30-1).

  • Authorizes a sealed court file to be made available only to the litigants in the case, their counsel or prospective counsel, and public employees responsible for processing the residential eviction action (Sec. 9-121.5.d).

  • Specifies any person who disseminates a sealed court file for commercial purposes to be liable for a civil penalty of $2,000, or twice the actual and consequential damages sustained, whichever is greater, as well as the costs of the action, including reasonable attorney's fees (Sec. 9-121.5.f).

  • Requires the court file to be sealed upon the commencement of any residential eviction action during the COVID-19 emergency and economic recovery period. If a residential eviction action filed during the COVID-19 emergency and economic recovery period is pending on the effective date of this Act and is not sealed, the court shall order the sealing of the court file (Sec. 9-122.b).

  • Specifies if the court enters a judgment in favor of the landlord, the court may also enter an order to unseal the court file under this Section. A court shall order the court file to be unsealed if (Sec. 9-122.c):

    • The action is not based in whole or in part on the nonpayment of rent during the COVID-19 emergency and economic recovery period; and

    • The requirements of subsection (b) or (c) of Section 9-121.5 have not been met.

  • Prohibits a court from accepting for filing any action to foreclose a mortgage before May 1, 2021 (Sec. 15-1514.c).

Title: Establishes the COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act

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