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What Happens When You Get Evicted?

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On Thursday, the U. S. Supreme Court blocked the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent eviction moratorium. As a result, tenants who are behind on their rent could soon be facing off with their landlords to prevent being kicked out of their homes.

As of the first week of July, nearly 6.4 million households were behind on rent. That’s about 15% of all renter households and represents an estimated total back rent of $21.346 billion, according to the National Equity Atlas. That works out to an average of $3,300 per household.

At the height of the pandemic, 19% of all rental households were behind on rent. The original eviction moratorium plus all its extensions have prevented an estimated 2.45 million eviction filings since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Eviction Lab.

What the eviction process is like

At risk renters can take a small bit of comfort from the fact that evictions don’t happen overnight. There is a lengthy legal process that varies depending on the state, and sometimes the county or city, you live in.

While the timeline and certain details will differ by location, the general process looks like this:

For renters facing eviction due to lack of payment, the legal process to remove you from the home begins with a Pay or Quit Notice, more commonly known as an Eviction Notice. You should receive the notice by certified mail, as well as having a copy of the notice placed on the entry to the rental unit in question.

Once you’ve received the notice, you’ll usually have 30 days to either pay the back rent due or vacate the property. If you move out before the landlord files a legal complaint, you could still be sued in civil court for any back rent due. If you do neither, then the landlord can file an eviction complaint with the courts. You’ll be notified of the court date and have the opportunity to present your case as to why the eviction should not proceed.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, you’ll be given a number of days to leave the property. If you don’t vacate within the prescribed time period, the landlord can then bring in law enforcement and have you forcibly removed.

Of course, the best option to avoid an eviction is to not reach the point where you’re asked to leave in the first place, although that is much easier said than done. There are steps you can take that can help prevent an eviction or soften the impact it may have on your life.

Steps to prevent an eviction before proceedings begin

1. Don’t ignore the issue

The worst thing you can do is nothing, says Johnny Hanna, co-founder of real estate brokerage Homie. Hoping an eviction won’t happen will do nothing to prevent it.

Instead, talk to your landlord before you fall behind on your rent or as soon as possible after you miss a payment. They may be willing to work with you to establish a payment plan. If you can come to an agreement, you may be able to avoid eviction altogether.

Be sure to document all your efforts to remediate the situation. If you do reach an agreement with your landlord, have it in writing. Also consider where you might be able to move if an agreement can’t be reached and eviction proceedings begin.

2. Apply for Emergency Rental Assistance

The federal government has assigned $46.5 billion to two Emergency Rental Assistance programs designed to provide those affected by the pandemic with the resources to pay for up to 18 months of rent and utilities. Obtaining rental assistance can help you get back on track and avoid an eviction.

Each state, as well as some counties, oversee the application process and distribution of funds. That means, while there are general guidelines that all programs must follow, there are differences in how each program is operated. Look up the rental assistance programs in your state for details on how to apply.

Considering the Supreme Court’s recent decision to block further eviction bans, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program is now one of the few protections families in need have to help them through the economic distress caused by the pandemic.

3. Contact your local tenant rights organization

There are housing assistance programs in each state that can help you figure your rights as a tenant, as well as provide information about assistance programs available in your area.

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Steps to follow once eviction proceedings begin

1. Find legal help

Once you are cited to go to court, you’ll need legal help to present your case. Look for an attorney that handles landlord-tenant disputes and is familiar with tenant rights in your area. Most landlords will be represented by a lawyer, says Rebecca Green, product manager at Apartment Guide and Rent.com. Not so with most renters.

“Most tenants come to the case without a lawyer, and this puts them at a disadvantage,” says Green. With eviction moratoriums coming to an end, she notes, there are a number of organizations that have geared up to provide aid, sometimes at minimal or no cost.

Having someone who can explain the process to you, protect your rights as a tenant and help negotiate an agreement with the landlord is important.

2. Start lining up a new place you can move into

If you can’t reach an agreement on a payment plan, don’t qualify for emergency rental assistance or get evicted, you need to be prepared to move. Check if you can qualify for a more affordable rental or subsidized housing, explaining your situation and asking about renter’s assistance. You should also consider family or friends that may be willing to let you move in temporarily until you can get back on your feet.

Finding a new home after an eviction

Once you’ve been evicted, it can be difficult to qualify for a new rental even if you’ve gotten back on your feet financially.

Most landlords will conduct background and credit checks. Many will not be willing to rent to someone with an eviction in their record. An eviction will not automatically appear on your credit report, but if the debt has gone to collections, it will show on the report for up to seven years. Either way, don’t try to hide the fact that you were evicted.

“It’s important to be honest and up-front about the situation from the get-go,” says Hanna. There are actions you can take that can improve your chances of finding a new rental.

  1. If you have a safe place to stay, work on improving your credit score by paying your bills on time. If possible, pay off overdue bills and try to get current on as many payments as possible.
  2. Provide numerous character references. References from current and former employers, friends or colleagues showing that you are a responsible person may help sway some landlords or property managers.
  3. Bringing in a co-signer with a good credit history can be helpful. If possible, offer a larger security deposit, or to pay more than the first and last month in advance.

Some smaller landlords may not conduct background or credit checks. Just be aware that this can sometimes be a tactic to avoid making necessary upgrades or follow other rules.

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Why is preventing evictions important?

The damage from eviction on individuals and families can last much longer than the time it takes for a legal proceeding to run its course.

Eviction can take a mental toll on the family unit, as having to leave a home behind on short notice or having to be forcibly removed from a property can have a lasting impact, often leading to depression and insecurity.

Those who have been evicted from their homes also run the risk of losing their personal belongings if they have their possessions placed on the sidewalk or outside the home. They may not be able to find comparable housing, instead being forced to move to less safe areas or places with less access to transportation and jobs. Being forced to move to a new school can also be disruptive for children.

Unfortunately, eviction filings are most likely to occur among populations that are already facing affordability and health issues, especially during the current pandemic. Black renters, for example, were more likely than white renters to be out of work due to the pandemic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Though Black households make up just 22% of renters, this group saw 33% of all evictions filed during the pandemic, even with the bans in place, according to research from Eviction Lab.

The same research indicates that those most at risk of eviction also lived in areas with low vaccination rates, making the prospect of losing a home even more daunting. Preventing an eviction can not only help decrease the transmission of the coronavirus but can also prevent a number of other disruptions to family life, according to the Urban Institute Initiative.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissenting opinion to the Court’s decision striking down the CDC’s current eviction moratorium, expressed this concern over a possible wave of COVID infections as eviction proceedings are allowed to begin again.

More from Money:

What to Know About Emergency Rental Assistance

How to Apply for Emergency Renters Assistance in Every State

To Avoid Evictions, Biden Begs States to Use Emergency Funds

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

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When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

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Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

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Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

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