When we hear talk of cities reopening, it’s the thought of our favorite cafe or restaurant or beauty salon that springs to mind, not courtrooms, and certainly not evictions. But yesterday’s onslaught of eviction proceedings at Shelby County Civil Court show that our slow return to normal will result in familiar hardships for some.
9,000 eviction hearings are set to restart in Memphis.
As states continue to battle the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Tennessee is among several states that have lifted the moratorium on eviction proceedings. According to local attorneys, Shelby County civil courts have roughly 9,000 eviction hearings set to restart.
“We have an upcoming surge of evictions, we know that, because we know that filings of eviction cases in Shelby County general sessions court have increased, they are higher than they usually are at this time,” Kathryn Ramsey, director of the Medical-Legal Partnership at the University of Memphis’ Cecil C. Humphreys law school, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Yesterday, for the first time in 11 weeks, Memphis’ court judges handled tenant-landlord disputes. According to those in attendance, tenants and landlords filled the first floor of Civil Court.
Many people lost jobs they won’t return to.
Experts predict a surge in evictions throughout the summer. “Many tenants who have been affected by COVID-19 might have been getting some economic support, like stimulus payments, or the increase in unemployment, from the government,” Ramsey told the Commercial Appeal, “But if there’s not a large-scale return to work in the coming months, those sources of additional income will be drying up.”
Given the soaring unemployment rates, there are many folks who, if evicted, have almost nothing to fall back on. Nearly 99,000 people in the area became unemployed in March, when social distancing orders first began. Stimulus payments and expanded unemployment have been a critical lifeline during an urgent time, but we have yet to see signs of longer-term stability. Many people lost jobs they cannot return to.
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As a bankruptcy lawyer Memphis TN trusts, my work feels more important than ever. No one should have to suffer any more during this inherently difficult time. Sometimes bankruptcy is about a fresh start, but in a moment as urgent as this, it’s simply about making it possible to survive.
If you are struggling to pay your rent, or worried you’ll be evicted, please know that there’s always hope. Give us a call at (901) 327-2100, and we can discuss your options.