COVID-19

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Do Not Sign a COVID-19 Waiver

If you have received a COVID-19 “Economic Impact Payment” direct deposit or check by mistake, DO NOT KEEP IT. This would be tax fraud, which is a felony, and could result in deportation/removal from the U.S. and exclusion from the U.S. permanently.

Please read the information sheet about what to do (pdf). If have further questions, fill out and submit an intake form, and schedule an appointment.

Student Legal Services (SLS) is, first and foremost a service unit, and we do not take our responsibility to you lightly. Due to recent events related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are trying to balance this responsibility with the recommendation from the university that all in-person meetings be moved to an alternate solution.

As a result, effective Tuesday March 17th, SLS will be closed to foot traffic until further notice but we will still remain open online and via phone to serve our university community during our regular business hours.

As of Wednesday, March 18, phone appointments will be available to students, and when the HIPAA version of Zoom is installed, online appointments via Zoom will be preferred. We will continue to communicate any updates via e-mail.

The Champaign County Courthouse is now closed except for certain emergency issues and bond court until further notice. Any court dates scheduled through that date will be rescheduled to a later date. Illinois Governor, J. B. Pritzker has continued the stay-at-home order through the end of April; this includes the University of Illinois and state courts.

We believe this will be a temporary shift in how we operate, and we remain ready to serve our clientele to the best of our abilities in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please contact studentlegalservice@illinois.edu or call (217) 333-9053.

Thomas E. Betz, Directing Attorney

According to Illinois Governor, J. B. Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-10, Dated March 20, 2020

"Section 2. Order ceasing evictions.
Pursuant to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305/7(2), (8), and (10), all state, county, and local law enforcement officers in the State of Illinois are instructed to cease enforcement of orders of eviction for residential premises for the duration of the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation. No provision contained in this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving any individual of the obligation to pay rent, to make mortgage payments, or to comply with any other obligation that an individual may have under tenancy or mortgage."
(Emphasis added by SLS).

Landlords can serve 5-day notices when rent becomes due and still seek an eviction later once the courts re-open and evictions resume.

COVID-19 DOES NOT END YOUR LEASE

NEW Leases and COVID-19 (pdf)

  • A lease is a binding contract for both the landlord and tenant.
  • As long as the landlord is providing habitable housing, the tenant must pay rent.
  • You will still owe all rent due for the remainder of the lease period, whether you are living in the unit or not.
  • Not paying your rent will lead to a 5-day notice demanding payment. Failure to pay in five days will lead to the right of landlord to demand possession in court.
  • In Champaign County, the sheriff is not serving civil process/eviction summons to court while the courthouse is closed. The court will reopen!
  • Interest will accumulate for late and unpaid rent along with court costs and attorney fees.
  • There are some landlords that will turn your nonpayment of rent over to collection agencies and credit agencies, which may destroy your credit rating.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Exe. Order 2020-10 has placed a moratorium on evictions under the “Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation” and is in effect until the proclamation is withdrawn. However, you are still obligated to pay rent and perform any other obligations under the lease. The landlord can still issue a 5-day notice if you fail to meet your obligations and seek an eviction once the courts have re-opened.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – Renter Protections

  • If you are renting from a landlord who has a federally backed mortgage, the CARES Act provides for a suspension or moratorium on evictions.
  • You cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent for 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020 and ending July 25, 2020.
  • After the 120-day period is up, the landlord cannot require you, the tenant, to vacate until providing you with a thirty-day notice to vacate.

Fannie Mae Disaster Response Network

  • If you’re a tenant in a multifamily rental property financed by Fannie Mae, your landlord can seek assistance through the Fannie Mae Disaster Response Network.
  • Your landlord can seek forbearance, late fee relief, and repayment options on the property.
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