In June, Tennessee became one of several states that lifted the moratorium on eviction proceedings. Back then, experts urged us to expect a surge in evictions, warning that recent sources of additional income from the government would dry up.

Now, as lawmakers struggle to determine the future of those protections, with no end to the pandemic in sight, millions of Americans are wondering if they can keep their homes. August 1st marked the first rent day in a post-COVID world without the economic support that propelled many through the early months of this crisis.

As Conor Dougherty writes for the New York Times, America’s rental affordability crisis predates the coronavirus: “A little under four million evictions are filed each year, one in four tenant households spends about half its pretax income on rent, and each night some 200,000 people sleep in their cars, on streets or under bridges.”

A surge in evictions may become a reality.

Unemployment is projected to remain above 10 percent into 2021, leaving tens of millions of Americans vulnerable to eviction in the coming months. “Even if only a fraction of those evictions actually take place,” Dougherty writes, “it would still be several times the current pace and the biggest disruption in rental housing in decades.”

According to a weekly tracker from the National Multifamily Housing Council, which covers close to 11 million rental units, payments have started slipping. The Census Bureau’s recent Pulse Survey also points to a grim outlook ahead. One in five renters said they could not pay July’s rent on time, whereas one in three said they were struggling to make the August payment.

The moratorium has expired in Tennessee.

In Tennessee, as in other states throughout the U.S., the eviction moratorium is no longer in place. While vital protections may have disappeared, this pandemic is far from over. Many people in this country, particularly renters, are unsure how to move forward. We are in a world that is changing more quickly than we can absorb the changes. Some people may have lost jobs that they can never return to.

A Memphis bankruptcy lawyer can help you keep your apartment.

No one needs to suffer any more during this difficult time. Thankfully, bankruptcy offers a way forward. It can be a lifeline during a crisis.

I want to offer you hope if you’re fearing eviction. I’ve spent my career helping folks navigate tough times so they can live the life of their dreams. I know that we are living in truly unprecedented times, but there’s always a light, even in the darkest hour.

If you’re struggling with debt, don’t wait for it to get worse. Call a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer today at (901) 327-2100—we’ll figure out your next steps.