In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued Executive Order 20-06 on March 17, 2020, prohibiting evictions, foreclosures and any related judicial proceedings in the State of Kansas through May 1, 2020.
Specifically, Executive Order 20-06 directs and orders “all financial institutions operating in Kansas to temporarily suspend the initiation of any mortgage foreclosure efforts or judicial proceedings and any commercial or residential eviction efforts or judicial proceedings until May 1, 2020.”
While this prohibitive language could arguably be read to only apply to financial institutions, Baker Sterchi has confirmed with the Governor’s Office that it intends for the prohibition to apply to any landlord, whether a financial institution, other entity, or even individuals. This executive intent is further reflected in the recitals that precede the Executive Order:
WHEREAS, the adverse economic impacts of COVID-19 include the potential for Kansans to miss mortgage or rent payments as a result of lost wages and now is not the time for creditors or landlords to initiate foreclosure or eviction proceedings; and
WHEREAS, this Administration will do whatever it can to assist Kansans in these challenging times, and that includes allowing Kansans to retain their homes and businesses to avoid immediate danger to their health, safety, and welfare.
Accordingly, unless otherwise directed, all landlords in Kansas should refrain from instituting foreclosure or eviction proceedings until May 1, 2020.
While new foreclosure and eviction proceedings are prohibited at this time, it is important to note that Executive Order 20-06 does not suspend any obligation to pay rent. So, tenants are advised to continue paying rent unless they have a written agreement with their landlords to suspend or forbear rent during this time. Moreover, the Executive Order does not impact judicial foreclosure and eviction proceedings that were commenced prior to entry of the Executive Order. Parties to pending eviction or foreclosure proceedings should monitor the policies and dockets of the courts in their respective counties in order to determine the status of each case.
Baker Sterchi will continue to monitor Kansas State policy concerning evictions and foreclosures and will provide updates as they are received.