Eviction proceedings, debt collections can resume this week, Tex - FOX34 Lubbock

Eviction proceedings, debt collections can resume this week, Texas Supreme Court says

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Texas is ending the freeze on eviction proceedings and debt collections this week.

The Texas Supreme Court made the announcement last week, amidst soaring unemployment. It had paused these proceedings due to the coronavirus pandemic. It first issued the order on March 13, originally slated to end April 20.

"Two months ago, the Texas Supreme Court put us on hold and said, 'No hearings,' until this day, then they moved the goalpost, so we waited for that, then they moved it again," Judge Jim Hansen, Lubbock Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, said. "After four times, today is the first day that we begin doing a lot of the processes before all the coronavirus stuff happened."

There are no different rules for Lubbock, and everything will proceed as it did before, Judge Hansen said.

Eviction hearings can now be held as early as Tuesday. Constables and deputies can post warnings, and landlords can seize homes starting May 26. 

This court's ruling does not apply to renters in homes covered by the CARES Act. 

"The CARES Act only affects section 8 housing, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, those particular cases are continued until July 25th," Hansen said.

While it is a tough situation for everyone involved, he said these proceedings have to move forward.

"This has been stressful for a lot of landlords as well as the tenants, and there are a lot that are in difficult circumstances, but we can't just let the system just go on in perpetuity where someone lives for free," Hansen said.

As of now, Judge Hansen said he has not seen the crowds of landlords at the J.P. courts that were expected following this order, but they may pick up later this week.

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