During the last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and interruptions to our economy, many states and the federal government imposed foreclosure and eviction moratoriums that protected non-paying mortgage borrowers and tenants. While this protection in many cases was needed to protect persons in financial hardship stay in their homes during a pandemic, it at the same time caused hardship for mortgage landers and landlords who could not enforce payment obligations; please discuss whether and under what circumstances such foreclosure and eviction moratoriums can and should be imposed by government and whether and under what circumstances such moratoriums should continue. Please cite specific laws and references in developing your arguments.
As Covid-19 rapidly spread across the nation, the federal government and states implemented many unprecedented mandates and law in an effort to prevent economic crisis while keeping the general public safe during the height of the pandemic, one of these being the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums which protected non-paying mortgage borrowers and tenants. The pandemic resulted in many financial and ethical dilemmas for both the government, landowners, and tenants. While this action enormous amounts of money and caused financial hardships for many. While the government had a just and morally sound cause for implementing the moratoriums; they overstepped their authority in doing so at the cost of landlords and mortgage landers.
In nearly all cases; landlords and tenants have strict contracts with clear rules; make the payments on time or get evicted. The government does not have the authority to violate these pre decided contracts. Landlords were expected to keep up their half of the contract throughout the pandemic; making sure units were in good condition and maintained; despite their tennants not being forced to follow through on their half. In addition, the landowners reserve the rights to their own property; and should maintain the ability to do practically whatever they want with it; assuming it does not break any laws or violate previously made contracts. The pandemic gives the government no viable reason to violate these rights. I think it is ethically wrong for the government to deprive landowners of their income during the pandemic; as many of their investments in their land were made for situations just like the pandemic, to give them a source of income when they needed it most. It is wrong to take from those who prepared for the crisis well while lifting up those who did not prepare at all. These ideas are backed up by the United States Constitution. The fifth amendment of the constitution states that “private property may not be taken for the public use without just compensation”. The moratorium appears to be in direct violation of our own constitution; as it essentially strips landlords of their property for a period of time for the use of the public with no financial compensation whatsoever. It is clear that the eviction moratorium is a violation of the rights of property owners; and should be implemented under no circumstances.
While I do not believe that the moratorium should be implemented; the covid-19 posed a serious dilemma. The government deprived many people of their ability to work as well; which made it extremely difficult for many to pay their mortgage and rent. Through implementing the moratorium, the government averted a potential crisis; and that did not cross constitutional boundaries and step on the rights of landlords were possible. Durring the pandemic, the government used over 4.5 trillion dollars in relief; according to the usaspending.gov website. Instead of spending trillions of dollars on corporate bailouts and stimulus checks; the government could have easily aided tenants and borrowers in their rent/mortgage payments.
Another solution that would have cost nothing would be to simply allow businesses to operate safely during the pandemic; allowing people to continue bringing in an income. In the future, I believe it is also important to educate people on good financial habits in order to allow them to build up enough savings to get through a pandemic. Economic crashes, new virus variants, and other unforeseen circumstances will continue to put people out of work for many years to come. We need to develop a solution or program to help people to prepare for these events before they happen, so we can avoid another disaster like the coronavirus pandemic.