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INDIANA'S ONLY STATE-WIDE VOICE FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTOR LEGISLATION

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Legislative Updates

A message from Alicia Ortiz,

Legislation Chair with Indiana State REIA Board of Directors

Investors need to be uniting nationwide to be proactive instead of reactive. Kansas City, South Bend and many other cities across the country are starting to unite tenants on the incorrect pretense that landlords are making a lot of money from evictions.

It is also my belief that investors need to monitor each other. There are many unscrupulous investors (colloquially known as "slumlords") out there who are causing cities to take note because the housing stock is in crisis, especially for the low-income tenants. This reflects very negatively on the ethical landlords, who work hard to provide safe, sanitary, and affordable housing.

Update 10/6/2020

Eviction Data the Media is Spouting has Little to No Validity

Article by Slate

Most of the numbers that the media is sensationalizing are out of date and/or incomplete. Some data points are based on evictions filed, not evictions finished.  They also do not show which evictions are for lack of payment vs. destruction of property such as running a meth lab in the property.  

"The media uproar over eviction tsunamis hides an increasingly embarrassing fact: We don’t even know how many Americans were evicted in 2019. How, then, are we supposed to help the estimated 30 to 40 million renters who are at risk of being evicted in 2021, when the moratorium lifts?

In short, local policies, differences in institutional capacity, and a lack of standardization across jurisdictions countrywide lead to a frustrating inability to pull together housing loss data in any meaningful way."

Click here to read the full article.

Update 10/6/2020

Settlement Program Offers Alternative to Eviction 

Article by the Indiana Lawyer. 

Elizabeth Sickles, President of INstateREIA, talks about how most landlords and housing providers WANT to work with their renters, and ARE working with the renters who are willing to work with them.

“Landlords want to do everything they can to keep good tenants in their properties,” Maora Sickels said. “If the tenants are even halfway willing to try to work something out, the landlords definitely want to help them.”

Read the full article here OR download a pdf copy here: Indiana Lawyer Article 10 01 20 with Elizabeth Sickels.pdf

UPDATE 9/2/2020 

Effective September 4th, the CDC has issued a 37 page nationwide eviction moratorium through 12/31/2020.  For the full CDC ruling click here: Rules of Federal Moratorium.pdf

Attorneys resoundingly agree that this is 100% unconstitutional and a gross over reach by the Federal government on state level issues. 

Here's what you need to know:

  • The plan allows tenants to stop eviction proceedings by providing to the landlord, a "Declaration" (CDC_moratorium_affidavit.docx) which essentially state they earn under $99,000/year (or twice that for jointly filed returns) and that if evicted, their only option is homelessness or living in "closer quarters."
  • This "Declaration" is signed under the penalty of perjury, however, there is no further requirement for proof. Nor is there ability to rebut these declarations as a landlord.
  • The penalties for noncompliance with this order include up to $250,000 fine and one year in jail.
  • Full payment, including fees, penalties, or interest are still fully collectible once this moratorium is lifted.
  • This order does NOT prevent emergency evictions or evictions for lease violations, criminal activity, etc. It only prevents eviction for non-payment of rent.


Jeff Jinks, INstateREIA Attorney, on the CDC Moratorium


CDC Eviction Moratorium Documents to Review

What tenants have to sign (without needing to provide any proof): CDC_moratorium_affidavit.docx

Full CDC ruling: Rules of Federal Moratorium.pdf

Message from Steve Eslinger, attorney and landlord: Part 15 - federal moratorium- sent Sept2.pdf and Part 15(b) - federal moratorium update.pdf.


Update 8/1/2020
Indiana Rental Assistance Portal Information. 

The Rental Assistance Portal is designed to help Indiana renters living outside of Marion County whose income has been adversely affected by COVID-19 avoid eviction by connecting them with programs that can help them cover monthly rent payments or past due rent.

Please note: If you live in Marion County (Indianapolis) please visit: www.indyrent.org.

Click here to access the Rental Assistance Portal and to begin your application.

The questions that will be asked on the initial application can be found here: English | Spanish
A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found here: English | Spanish
Additional information for renters can be found here: English | Spanish
Additional information for landlords can be found here: English | Spanish

Individuals that are unable to complete the application online should call toll-free 1-844-463-7368.
This phone number is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern.

Update 8/1/2020
The INstateREIA lawsuit to stop the eviction moratorium has been filed.
We will see what impact this has on the moratorium continuing past August 1.

A big shout out to Jeff Jinks Law and all involved in filing this suit for the Indiana Housing Providers.

Here are some of the filing points:

Earlier this week they filed suit in Federal Court on behalf of 3 plaintiffs seeking to end the eviction ban on several grounds under the State and Federal Constitutions.

The suit alleges the Governor’s actions are illegal for the following reasons:

1. Separation of Powers under Article 1, Section 26 and Article 3 of the Indiana Constitution;
2. Right of Access to the Courts under the 1st and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution; 
3. Right of Access to the Courts under Article 1, Section 12 of the Indiana Constitution;
4. Taking of property under the 5th and 14th Amendment and 42 USC 1983;
5. Taking of property under the Indiana Constitution, Article 1, Section 21;
6. Due Process rights under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution and 42 USC 1983;
7. Contracts Clause of the Article 1, Section 10 of the US Constitution; 

The clients seek Declaratory Judgment finding the Executive Order null and void; Set aside the Order pertaining to the Eviction Ban; Enjoin the Governor from implementing and enforcing the Eviction Ban; Award damages and attorney fees to the plaintiffs.

I would note that Housing Providers around the state attempted to resolve this issue without litigation in 3 ways; First by personal contacts with the Governor’s office.  Second, by written Petition with 67 signatures.   Third, by seeking assistance of our State Representatives and Senators.   The governor’s official reply through our Representative was:

The language in the most recent executive order (section 1C) prohibits residential evictions for nonpayment through August 1st. Further, the language only allows for emergency evictions under limited circumstances set forth in Indiana Code 32-31-6. Outside of these two areas I would encourage your constituent to consult with legal counsel for any further advice.

They also note that the Governor’s Order expires every 30 days simply because the statute he is referencing only lasts for 30 days and has to be renewed each month.

Update 7/25/2020
40% OF TENANTS NATIONWIDE ARE NOT PAYING THEIR RENT AND ITS ONLY JUST BEGUN....

Did you ever think our Governor would ban evictions?  Not only for one month, but for many months.  We fear with Boston now banning evictions until 2021 and now 40% of tenants nationwide not paying rent that our local Indiana investors will start hurting sooner rather than later.  We have a MATCHING DONOR and just need to raise $2,500 more to meet our goal of $15,000 needed for the retainer to start the lawsuit on this unconstitutional eviction ban.  

It's amazing how many people this ban is affecting in addition to the landlords...  contractors, plumbers, heating and a/c companies, painters, lawn companies, fence companies, window companies, flooring companies, realtors, property managers, insurance companies, trash and debris hauling companies, and tons more.  This isn't just an issue of landlords not paying their mortgages; but when they can't the trickle down will be tremendous.

Sadly, we believe the eviction ban moratorium will be extended here in Indiana with hard and wide reaching consequences to you as an investor.  You might not be feeling any pain yet, but you will.  Let's stand together and ahead of any further unconstitutional bans from our Governor.  Please donate today to PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS as an investor doing business the right way! 

 MOM AND POPS OWN MOST SFH RENTALS, NOT BIG CORPORATIONS.  PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS AND PROPERTIES DUE TO UNPAID RENT.  ****For more information check out this story at www.forbes.com  

Update 7/15/2020
Indiana's Rental Assistance Portal went live July 13th

On Monday, July 13 at 9 a.m. (ET), emergency rental assistance programs for the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis went live.

Because both programs are expected to experience high demand for limited funds, Prosperity Indiana wants to make sure our members and partners have the information needed to best serve the affected renters in your communities. We are also asking that you share this information widely.

The details below include information and links to apply to the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, which covers residents in every county (except Marion County), and the IndyRent Rental Assistance Program, which covers residents in Marion County including the City of Indianapolis.

While the two programs have some differences in eligibility, application processes, and program design, both are intended to provide rental assistance to residents who have seen income loss due to the pandemic.

Even if renters are unsure if they qualify, the most important thing is to encourage anyone affected by the COVID-19 crisis to complete the application process ASAP, starting 9 a.m. on Monday, July 13.

If you have tenants who may become delinquent in their rents, please share this information with them to help them and to help you.

For the IndyRent Rental Assistance Program (only Marion County):

  • Eligibility information for the program can be found here.
  • Program information PDF flyer can be found here.

 For the statewide (except Marion County) Rental Assistance Program:

Thank you Tim Hawkins, Attorney, JeffJinksLaw.com

Update 7/2/2020
Utility disconnections halt extended
Commission lengthens moratorium by six weeks

State utility regulators on Monday extended the moratorium on utility disconnections until Aug. 14, two weeks later than utility companies proposed, but months earlier than consumer advocacy groups called for. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission also rejected utility companies’ controversial request for permission to recover lost revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If granted, the request would have opened the door for companies to shift the losses in revenue to customers down the line in ways that could have included rate increases.

The decision ends the first phase of an investigation into how Indiana’s utility companies and customers have been impacted by the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The start date of the second phase, during which individual utility companies can submit specific proposals, is still uncertain.

Although some consumer advocates wanted the moratorium and other consumer protections to last longer, they say the commission’s decision could be considered an overall win for ratepayers, and may leave an opportunity for an extension later in the year.

IndyStar reporter London Gibson at 317-419-1912 or lbgibson@gannett.com.
Follow her on Twitter @londongibson

UPDATE 6/10/2020
INDIANA STATE UTILITIES INFORMATION DURING COVID:  https://www.indy.gov/activity/covid-19-utilities-support

UPDATE 4/28/2020
FREE ONLINE VIRTUAL MEETING REGARDING LANDLORD AND TENANTS RIGHTS SCHEDULED FOR 4/28/2020

Below are links and information that will help you find the answers to questions you may have about the current freeze on evictions and foreclosures, etc.:

CORONAVIRUS EVICTION/FORECLOSURE RESOURCE GUIDE
This helpful guide will help you through the details of the governor's executive order calling for a freeze on evictions and foreclosures during the current public health emergency. Download the resource guide here.

INDIANA'S HARDEST HIT FUN
Eligible Indiana homeowners are eligible for up to $30,000 in mortgage payment assistance. To learn more, please visit www.877gethope.org/.

FREE LIVE VIRTUAL PRESENTATION RE: COVID-19 ISSUES THAT IMPACT RENTERS, HOMEOWNERS AND LANDLORDS HELD ON Tuesday, April 28, 2020 between 2 and 3 p.m. (ET).
Among the participating organizations discussing all the housing resources available to all Hoosiers during the coronavirus pandemic will be the Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN), and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). Join the live event on Tuesday by clicking here.

Event shared by Tim Hawkins, Jeff Jinks Law through correspondence from Robin Shakleford, State Represenative House District 98.

UPDATE 4/23/2020

To see a complete listing of COVID-19 Emergency Relief program awards look under the "IHCDA Delegated Authority" tab on our COVID-19 Resources webpage.

(Courtesy of www.JeffJinksLaw.com)

Up to date information is available on through multiple sources.  INstateREIA wants to help you stay informed through sources that can be confirmed as legitimate.

With that in mind, here is a recent message from one of INstateREIA's leaders:

As the situation evolves, we will do our best to keep you informed.

FOR CURRENT COVID-19 information please click on the link below to reach the National REIA website for national updates that have been verified by National's legal and legislative staff. There is a button on their home page for COVID-19 updates.

IN THE MEANTIME - we have been advised to suggest to you that now is the time to increase your communication.
Make 3 calls immediately....

  • First to your lenders and bankers. We are advised that lenders may be extending grace periods, possible interest only payments and multiple other actions to help with your payments. BUT YOU WON'T KNOW what they are willing to do to help you unless you call them. Reach out today.
  • Second call - Call your tenants.  Find out how many of your residents are impacted by this event.   Work with them.  When you talk to your lenders in another month, lenders are going to ask for your numbers. What percentage of your tenants are COVID-19 impacted?  Start collecting this information now.
  • Third call - Call your staff and contractors. What are their situations? Who can work? Figure out what repairs must be done due to health and safety issues.

Remember, many buyers and sellers are still out there.  Many lenders are still lending.  Be simple.  Be kind.  We will get through this.
For beginners - now is a good time to work on your education and make your plans.  It's also a good time to book a telephone chat with our Executive Director.  Vickie flipped her first house in 1981.  To schedule a phone appointment, email her at ExecutiveDirector@cireia.club.

Thank you and best wishes to all.  CIREIA Club Board of Directors

UPDATE 3/22/2020
FEDERAL TAX UPDATE COURTESY OF SARAH HOLTRUP, CPA.

It has been hard to distinguish the chatter and recommendations for the actual law. Earlier this week Treasury Secretary Mnuchin implied that there would be a 90-day tax filing and payment extension from the April 15th deadline. He said, “just file your taxes. you will automatically not get charged interest and penalties.” The next day, the IRS issued Notice 2020-17 announcing a payment extension until July 15, 2020, but not a filing extension.


Then Mnuchin tweeted that the extension to July 15, 2020 would be a filing and a payment extension. He stated as follows: “at the President's direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

We are not sure how the IRS will interpret this statement. Will it eliminate the $1 million and $10 million thresholds in the IRS Notice? Will it include the April 15th estimated tax payment in the filing extension? Bottom line is we won't know the answers until the IRS issues guidance. Hopefully we'll know sooner than later.

With all the minute-by-minute changes please note that we are working feverishly to keep you abreast of the changes - we will help  ensure you are including the most up to date information.

Together, we can get through this.  Good thoughts for you and your loved ones. 
Sarah Holtrup, CPA       P: (317) 828-1159    E: Sarah@ProfitableInsight.com
www.profitableinsight.com

FROM JEFF JINKS LAW...INDIANA SUPREME COURT UPDATE 

From your team at JEFF JINKS LAW, please see the following announcement from the Indiana Supreme Court which is addressed to lawyers specifically.  I will forward these OFFICIAL announcements, and their internal links, to our membership and on our firms’s Facebook page to help everyone better understand what is actually happening in the courts.  Please check in regularly because these announcements may come out very frequently.  

We know this is a stressful and uncertain time for you, your colleagues, your clients, your firms, and your communities. We want to assure you that the Indiana Supreme Court and the Office of Judicial Administration—like all of you—are taking appropriate steps to respond to this public health emergency while making sure that essential court operations continue statewide. In particular:

  •  All trial courts have been ordered to work with their county emergency management agencies and health departments to implement their Continuity of Operations Plans and petition the Supreme Court to carry out operational changes—such as postponing jury trials, suspending deadlines, allowing for remote hearings, and minimizing non-essential access at court facilities—through Administrative Rule 17
  •  OJA is working quickly through its Office of Admissions and Continuing Education to address our regulatory framework, which dictates the amount of in-person versus online continuing legal education hours. We will engage our state’s Bar Associations in making sure distance education can be championed as we all take necessary social distancing measures.
  •  Our electronic filing systems and your active usage of them have allowed many portions of the modern legal practice to continue remotely. Just since March 9, there have been about 210,000 filings in our trial and appellate courts.

Please familiarize yourself with the Indiana Supreme Court’s public webpage on COVID-19 Responses and Resources. Our Office of Communication, Education, and Outreach intends to update the website at about 9:00am EDT and 3:00pm EDT each workday with additional resources and orders granting county emergency petitions. Please also contact your local courts for specific details on the status of county facilities.

We belong to a profession which brings stress every day in the best of times, whether we are law students, practitioners, or members of the judiciary. So please remember to prioritize your health and well-being, along with the health and well-being of your families, colleagues, and friends. The Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program is available to support you as always. Call confidentially, 317-833-0370 or review their list of online supports.

We continue to work with all of our justice partners and stakeholders throughout the state, including the Indiana State Bar Association, local bar associations, executive branch agencies, and many others to ensure that we are all doing our best to respond to these ever-changing and challenging circumstances. Thank you for your continuing hard work and commitment to the legal profession in Indiana.

Best regards,


Contact Us

Indiana State REIA
(317) 434-4257

info@indianastatereia.org 

6767 E Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46219

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