Tenant Payment Performance Update through May 2023
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The courts continue to catch up on their caseloads, even the City of Detroit’s 36th District Court. We obtained 9 Writs of Eviction in May. We executed two evictions for the month of May and already have several more scheduled for this month.
36th District Court has discontinued Virtual Hearings and everything is in person as it used to be before the pandemic. While cases are still being automatically adjourned when it is the first hearing, overall cases are moving faster. With in-person hearings, our attorneys will also be able to obtain documents faster than waiting for the court to mail them out.
Our attorneys are also predicting fewer tenants will be showing up in person for their cases than previously attended their video hearings. We’re hoping judges do NOT adjourn cases for no-show tenants and simply award us a judgment.
TENANT APPLICANT SCREENING CHALLENGES
While our screening report does a nationwide search for actual eviction judgments, our biggest current challenge is determining if an applicant recently had eviction proceedings started against them. Free Legal Aid attorneys are doing their best to negotiate Summary Dispositions for their clients, so an eviction judgment doesn’t show up in the records. To find these cases we have to manually log into each court’s website, which is often down, and search for various name combinations – all a very time-consuming process.
What we like to see is if applicants after being on tough times were able to recover and pay rent on time and take care of their home or if they are jumping from home to home.
Due to concerns about being accused of Fair Housing discrimination, and getting sued, we have to proceed carefully with every application we receive. As a result, it’s taking us longer to process each application.
RENT PAYMENT TRENDS 30-60-90+ Days Behind Update
We’ve passed the 80% threshold for tenants paying full rent! This is becoming a trend as eviction is now a reality for non-paying tenants. Non-performing tenants have dropped as courts are working faster to process eviction cases.
We had a slight increase in the number of tenants paying full rent. A couple of tenants did fall behind, but we are working with them to help them catch up this month. This will actually bring down the number of non-performing tenants.
The number of tenants paying full rent increased slightly and is well over 90% now. We’ve been able to get rid of some of the non-performers, but we still had a couple of tenants in Pontiac fall behind. We have offered them payment plans and are working to try to get them on track.
Performance improved here also last month. We’re most excited about the consistently falling number of tenants paying zero rent. We hope as courts continue to process evictions in a more timely manner tenants will be able to see that eviction is a reality and try their best to pay rent on time.