Millions Could Face Eviction with Federal Moratorium Ending and a Logjam in Aid

Millions Could Face Eviction with Federal Moratorium Ending and a Logjam in Aid

June 10, 2021

ABI Bankruptcy Brief

Millions Could Face Eviction with Federal Moratorium Ending and a Logjam in Aid

As an eviction moratorium from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to expire on June 30, Census Bureau data shows that 7 million people are still behind on their rent, reported. "It is a race against the clock at this point to get the money to the tenants who need it to avoid eviction," says Diane Yentel, president of the nonprofit National Low Income Housing Coalition. Yentel says the money to help renters is flowing from the Treasury Department to states and city and county governments. "There are about 370 emergency rental assistance programs open, and more are coming online every day," Yentel says. Some of those are just now starting to write checks or are mired in bureaucracy. Other programs place limits on how much a renter can receive due to concerns that they're running out of money. "They really streamlined the process a great deal," says Stephanie Graves, a landlord in Houston who owns or manages 1,800 rental units. She set up computers in the business offices of her properties and went door to door encouraging residents to apply for the help. Early on, she says, the program was a mess: The portal crashed, applications got lost, and there were long delays. She says a group that represents Houston landlords told the city and county, "We're going to be forced to evict people if we don't get this together." Graves says 20% of the residents at her properties, hundreds of people, were behind on rent, but now they're getting help. "Over half of those people have gotten funding, are still in their apartments," she says. She expects the vast majority of the rest to get their back rent paid very soon, and she is not moving to evict them.​​​

Commentary: When Will Private-Equity Money Impact Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial real estate is gradually coming back to life from the pandemic as the U.S. starts to ramp up for a summer reopening, according to a commentary in the Commercial Observer. Most signs point to the country being poised for a significant economic expansion, and institutional investors have been busy beefing up to take advantage of the developments. Looming over the real estate sector for years now has been a massive pile of cash reserves held by private real estate funds. According to recent data from Preqin for April 2021 (reported by the Wall Street Journal), private real estate investment funds are sitting on around $356 billion in unspent cash, which is about $1 billion more than in December 2019, before the start of the pandemic, and more than double what existed at the end of 2008. Over the last two decades, the amount of capital held by these funds has ballooned by about $330 billion. (The Great Financial Crisis [GFC] also spawned a wave of new entrants raising money to invest in real estate.) During the coronavirus pandemic, pension funds and other large institutional investors decided to allocate more capital to commercial real estate investment. Despite pricing uncertainty, and the fact the pricing capitulation hasn’t yet materialized in this downturn, real estate presents a solid hedge against the risk of rising inflation while exhibiting a relatively stable and strong return profile. In a survey published at the end of 2020 by advisory firm Hodes Weill & Associates and Cornell University, the average allocation target to commercial real estate, globally, by large institutions ticked up slightly in 2020 to 10.6 percent from 10.5 percent in 2019. It’s clear the appetite is there, but that powder keg of hundreds of billions of “dry powder” that’s existed for many years in real estate private equity and continues to grow still isn’t ready to explode. What’s important is that in all the asset classes that people want to buy, the price capitulation that might drive waves of transaction activity has not materialized, Dickerman said. Commercial real estate prices during COVID-19 did not plummet in the same fashion as during the GFC, and they began a rebound just six months later in September 2020, according to analytics firm Green Street’s U.S. Commercial Property Price Index.​​​

Weekly U.S. Unemployment Claims Fall to 376,000, Sixth Straight Drop

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the sixth straight week as the U.S. economy, held back for months by the coronavirus pandemic, is reopening rapidly, the Associated Press reported. Jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 376,000 from 385,000 the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The number of people signing up for benefits exceeded 900,000 in early January and has fallen more or less steadily ever since. Still, claims are high by historical standards. Before the pandemic brought economic activity to a near-standstill in March 2020, weekly applications were regularly coming in below 220,000. Nearly 3.5 million people were receiving traditional state unemployment benefits the week of May 29, down by 258,000 from 3.8 million the week before. Businesses are reopening rapidly as the rollout of vaccines allows Americans to feel more comfortable returning to restaurants, bars and shops.​​​

U.S. Inflation Is Highest in 13 Years as Prices Surge 5%

The U.S. economy’s rebound from the pandemic is driving the biggest surge in inflation in nearly 13 years, with consumer prices rising in May by 5% from a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Labor Department said that last month’s increase in the consumer-price index was the largest since August 2008, when the reading rose 5.4%. The core-price index, which excludes the often-volatile categories of food and energy, jumped 3.8% in May from the year before — the largest increase for that reading since June 1992. Consumers are seeing higher prices for many of their purchases, particularly big-ticket items such as vehicles. Prices for used cars and trucks leapt 7.3% from the previous month, driving one-third of the rise in the overall index. The indexes for furniture, airline fares and apparel also rose sharply in May. May’s jump in prices extends a trend that accelerated this spring amid widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, relaxed business restrictions, trillions of dollars in federal pandemic relief programs and ample household savings — all of which have stoked demand for Americans to spend and travel more. Overall prices jumped at a 9.7% annualized rate over the three months ended in May. On a month-to-month basis, overall prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% and core prices rose 0.7%. The annual inflation measurements are being boosted by comparisons with figures from last year during pandemic-related lockdowns, when prices plummeted because of collapsing demand for many goods and services. This so-called base effect is expected to push up inflation readings significantly in May and June, dwindling into the fall. (Subscription required.)​​​

Amid Pandemic Shocks to the Supply Chain, What Does the Future Hold for the Auto Industry? Scott Wolfson Provides Perspectives on the Latest Episode of ABI’s Industry Viewpoints

Scott A. Wolfson of Wolfson Bolton PLLC (Troy, Mich.) talks with ABI Editor-at-Large Bill Rochelle to provide key insights on the latest episode of ABI's #IndustryViewpoints. Watch now!

ABI's "Industry Viewpoints" is a video series released periodically on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube) featuring bankruptcy professionals providing their perspectives on the current state and future of an industry.

Previous guests include:

- Laura Davis Jones of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones (Wilmington, Del.) providing perspectives on the future of retail

- Deborah Williamson of Dykema Gossett PLLC (San Antonio) discussing what is next for oil and gas

- Jim Shea of Shea Larsen PC (Las Vegas) providing an outlook on the hospitality and tourism sectors.

- Jim Tussing of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP (New York) talking about the future of aircraft leasing.

Be sure to subscribe to the ABI YouTube channel or follow ABI on social media (, or to watch upcoming episodes, including the future of the supply chain!

Notice Regarding the UST Program’s New Chapter 11 Periodic Reports Effective June 21

On Dec. 21, 2020, the U.S. Trustee Program (USTP) promulgated a final rule,“Procedures for Completing Uniform Periodic Reports in Non-Small Business Cases Filed Under Chapter 11 of Title 11,” according to a press release. The Final Rule, which is authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 589b, requires that chapter 11 debtors in possession and trustees — other than small business debtors — file monthly operating reports (MORs) and post-confirmation reports (PCRs) using streamlined, data-embedded, uniform forms in every case in every judicial district where the USTP operates. The Final Rule will be in effect for all reports filed on or after June 21, 2021. Prior to the effective date, the USTP encourages bankruptcy professionals to engage with their local USTP offices to learn more about the Final Rule and forms so that they will be ready to file data-embedded MORs and PCRs beginning June 21, 2021. Local USTP offices will make training available for bankruptcy professionals about completing, filing and serving the new uniform MOR and PCR forms. The uniform forms and instructions for their use and filing, which may be periodically updated prior to the effective date, are available on the USTP’s website at​​​

Applications for ABI’s 2021 40 Under 40 Class Due June 30
ABI’s “40 Under 40” program recognizes outstanding bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring professionals from around the world who are 40 years old or younger as of Dec. 1, 2021. The application deadline for members of the 2021 Class is June 30. Honorees will be announced in October and recognized at a special awards ceremony during the 2021 Winter Leadership Conference in early December. In addition:

• Honorees will be invited to attend an exclusive reception with ABI leaders and judicial faculty at the Winter Leadership Conference, as well as future special events;
• Honorees will be profiled on ABI’s website and in the ABI Journal; and
• Each class of honorees will receive other special recognition when attending ABI events. Know a colleague who should be recognized, or would you like to nominate yourself? Click here.

Sign up Today to Receive Rochelle’s Daily Wire by E-mail!
Have you signed up for Rochelle’s Daily Wire in the ABI Newsroom? Receive Bill Rochelle’s exclusive perspectives and analyses of important case decisions via e-mail!

Tap into Rochelle’s Daily Wire via the ABI Newsroom and Twitter!


New on ABI’s Bankruptcy Blog Exchange: Bankruptcy Filing Rates Not Rising, May Go Lower

The latest data from Epiq shows that year-over-year bankruptcy filings dropped again in May after an increase in April, according to a recent Credit Slips blog post by Prof. Bob Lawless of the University of Illinois College of Law.

To read more on this blog and all others on the ABI Blog Exchange, please click here.

© 2021 American Bankruptcy Institute
All Rights Reserved.
66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314