HEROES Act and Courts Update: May 15, 2020
Updated: May 18, 2020
HEROES Act Update
On May 15, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.6800, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act. Should it be considered in the Senate, the $3 trillion bill is likely to undergo revisions. As passed by the House, it addresses a broad range of COVID-19 related issues. Some issues of greatest interest for Realtors® include:
Provides additional funding and relief programs established under the CARES Act.
Extends and expands the federal moratorium on certain evictions and foreclosures.
Funds another round of direct payment to individuals.
NAR is advocating for Realtors®, specifically in support of additional funding and flexibility for financial assistance programs as well as certain housing security provisions aimed, including rental assistance. We will continue to update members as the bill moves through the legislative process.
On May 15, the Chief Justices of the Massachusetts Trial, Appeals, and Supreme Judicial Courts sent notice to the bar explaining their intent to gradually reopen the courts. Prior to May 4, the Trial Court was focused mostly on emergency matters. Now, the court is hearing an increasing number of nonemergency matters that do not require in-court hearings. Though the Justices anticipate courthouses will remain closed through June, they will continue to expand the number of nonemergency matters they handle virtually. Courthouses are anticipated to reopen in gradual stages starting in the summer, though most court business will still be conducted virtually.
The Housing Court, a division of the Trial Court, remains restricted by the COVID-19 Housing Bill and cannot accept fillings or schedule court events related to non-essential evictions until the sooner of 120 days after enactment (August 18) or 45 days after the end of the state of emergency.