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Politics & Government

Michigan courts brace for eviction filings, but it’s unclear just how many there will be

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A Michigan judge says the state’s eviction diversion program isn’t nearly enough to handle the expected influx of eviction filings.

Governor Whitmer lifted the state’s eviction moratorium in mid-July after introducing a $50 million eviction diversion program.

Judge Ladas Hoopes oversees an eviction prevention program in Muskegon that existed before the pandemic. She said eviction cases likely won’t start moving forward until August, as courts prepare.

“It’s going to be huge. Our guess is usually we have 20-30 landlord-tenant cases a day, four days a week. It’s going to be at least that many or more.”

Ultimately, Hoopes said judges won’t know how many eviction filings there are until they start coming in.

She said some rental associations are reporting that tenants have used federal stimulus or unemployment to stay up to date.

“It’s impossible to tell right now. It’s guessing what people did with their money and who got money. We just don’t know.”

Hoopes said her court received roughly $1 million in state funds to put towards eviction diversions. She said the bulk of the funds will likely go to courts in Wayne county.

Under the state’s diversion program landlords can receive back rent up to $3,500 as long as they agree to forgive up to 10% of the rent owed.

Doug Benson is the president of the Rental Property Owners Association of Mid-Michigan. He out said of his 81 tenants only one hasn’t paid rent.

“That’s not typical,” he said. “I have a friend who has maybe 20% who haven’t paid. He’s in a far different boat.”

Bensons said he thinks the state eviction diversion program is a “good deal.”

But he said he doesn’t like that the state took away landlord’s ability to evict people who refused to pay.

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