Houston-area attorneys help hundreds fight evictions under CARES Act

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With business shut downs, and the economy coming to a halt at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, families have begun to struggle financially and finding means for rent. But as ordered by the federal government, some were given protections.

Under the CARES Act, enacted at the end of March by the federal government, in addition to foreclosure protections for borrowers with properties secured by federal mortgage loans, it was also supposed to protect tenants who are in federal housing programs.

Some local legal professionals in Houston have found hundreds were still issued eviction notices.

"One thing we're seeing is there were a number of evictions filed during the moratorium," said staff attorney Richard Amagwula. "Any evictions that we're filed during that eviction moratorium, realistically speaking, weren't supposed to be filed."

His office was given a list that included hundreds.

"Obviously, out there you have some landlords who understand the times, understand everything that's going on. Some are little less considerate of what's going on," said Amagwula.

The order doesn't specify what will happen to landlords who did serve those particular residents with eviction notices during the moratorium period. Amagwula hopes he and others from the Earl Carl Institute can help tenants fight back.

"It's a tough time that everybody's going through. We're just looking to do our part, represent these tenants in anyway that we can," he said.

There is a database that will show what housing complexes are backed by federal funds. If so, the CARES Act would apply to them.

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