Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–851.01. Foreclosure moratorium.

*NOTE: This section was created by temporary legislation that will expire on November 19, 2022.*

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on October 23, 2022.*

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of District law, during the time period from March 11, 2020, to June 30, 2022, no:

(A) Residential foreclosure may be initiated or conducted under § 42-815 or § 42-816;

(B) Sale may be initiated or conducted under § 42-1903.13(c); and

(C) Judgment foreclosing the right of redemption shall be entered under § 47-1378.

(2) From July 1, 2022, through September 30, 2022, no residential foreclosure may be initiated or conducted under § 42-815 or § 42-816, no sale may be initiated or conducted under § 42-1903.13(c), and no judgment foreclosing the right of redemption shall be entered under § 47-1378, if:

(A) A homeowner or their representative applies for financial assistance to cure a debt or default with funds from the Department of Housing and Community Development's DC Homeowner Assistance Fund Program ("DC HAF"), or a similar government fund established to assist homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 public emergency or public health emergency declared pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 7 ("financial assistance application");

(B) The financial assistance application is under review, pending approval, pending payment, or under appeal; and

(C) Proof of the financial assistance application status described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph is presented, as a paper copy or through an electronic medium, including through electronic communications facilitated by the online DC HAF application portal, to the mortgage lender, condominium association, homeowners association, or tax sale purchaser, or to an agent acting as a representative for any housing or financing entity to which a homeowner is indebted.

(D) Repealed.

(2A)(A) Beginning on July 25, 2022, a mortgage lender, condominium association, homeowners association, or tax sale purchaser, or an agent acting as a representative for any housing or financing entity to which a homeowner is indebted, may begin to send notices to warn of intention to initiate or continue foreclosure actions, but no foreclosure action described in paragraph (2) of this subsection may proceed prior to 30 days after a homeowner is first sent a warning notice.

(B) Before September 30, 2022, all foreclosure notices and foreclosure warning notices sent pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall:

(i) Be sent by postal and electronic mail to a homeowner's last known home and email address;

(ii) Inform the homeowner of DC HAF and the program's potential ability to cure eligible housing debts, including the specific type of debt or debts owed to the entity sending the notice; and

(iii) Explain the September 30, 2022, deadline to apply to DC HAF to delay or prevent further foreclosure action.

(C) Within 5 business days after July 25, 2022, the Mayor shall publish on the DC HAF website an editable sample foreclosure warning notice for use by housing or financing entities to which a homeowner may be indebted. The notice shall include:

(i) Information about the foreclosure moratorium provided under this section;

(ii) The availability of funding to cure housing-related debts through DC HAF and program eligibility criteria;

(iii) Contact information for housing counseling organizations helping to administer DC HAF; and

(iv) The September 30, 2022, deadline to submit a financial assistance application and to provide proof of financial assistance application status, consistent with the requirements of paragraph (2)(C) of this subsection, in order to prevent or delay possible forthcoming foreclosure actions.

(2B)(A) The Mayor shall make every effort to make DC HAF payments by September 30, 2022, to qualified homeowners, their representatives, or housing or financing entities to which a homeowner is indebted to cure any debts or defaults eligible for assistance.

(B) If a homeowner submitted a financial assistance application prior to September 30, 2022, provided proof of the application status pursuant to paragraph (2)(C) of this subsection, and the application remains under review, pending approval, pending payment, or under appeal as of September 30, 2022, until such time as DC HAF payments can be made or a homeowner's application is denied following appeal, if any, the homeowner shall not be subject to:

(i) A residential foreclosure initiated or conducted under § 42-815 or § 42-816;

(ii) A sale initiated or conducted under § 42-1903.13(c); or

(iii) A judgment foreclosing the right of redemption under § 47-1378.

(3) The Mayor, or a designee, shall ensure that a homeowner applying for DC HAF, or for similar government funds established to assist homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 public emergency or public health emergency declared pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 7, is provided with documentation in a timely manner that will enable the applicant to present proof of the financial assistance application status as described in paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(b) This section shall not apply to a residential property at which neither a record owner nor a person with an interest in the property as heir or beneficiary of a record owner, if deceased, has resided for at least 275 total calendar days during the 12 months period immediately preceding October 1, 2021.