COVID-19 Live Updates: Evictions, Debt Collection Resume In Texas

KERA News

Get live updates throughout the day on how COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is affecting North Texas. 

» COVID-19 By The Numbers:

What should I know about coronavirus? Get information from the CDC. What’s been happening locally, statewide and nationally? Check out special coverage from NPR, PBS and the public radio stations in The Texas Newsroom: KERA for North Texas (including quick daily updates below); KUT in Austin; Houston Public Media; Texas Public Radio in San Antonio; and Marfa Public Radio. How’s coronavirus affecting North Texans on the financial edge? Take an in-depth look at our new series, “One Crisis Away: Coronavirus And Life On The Financial Edge.” In Texas: More than 49,200 cases and 1,352 deaths have been reported. More than 28,300 Texans have recovered. In North Texas: Cases in Dallas County: 7,679; Tarrant County: 4,559; Collin County: 1,047; Denton County: 1,088. There have been at least 365 reported deaths in the region’s four largest counties.  Counties across Texas: Use The Texas Newsroom’s interactive maps.  Global: See Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Evictions, Debt Collection Resume In Texas

Starting today in Texas, eviction and commercial debt collection proceedings can resume. The state Supreme Court announced last week it would lift moratoriums blocking these lawsuits from moving forward.

Back in March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Texas’ highest court suspended evictions and debt collection. Now with the orders lifted, lawsuits can move forward, and by May 26, landlords could start evicting renters. Creditors can also again garnish money from bank accounts to satisfy consumer debts.

Ann Beeson from the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities says that undermines both public health and the state’s economic recovery.

“This is absolutely not the time to be kicking people out of their homes, to be sicking debt collectors on families that are struggling to get food on the table.”

The order — signed by the nine Republican court justices — does safeguard federal stimulus funds from garnishment. There are also temporary protections blocking evictions from homes with federally backed mortgages.

Dallas Small Business Continuity Funds Program Gets $26 Million In Requests, But only has $5 Million To Distribute

The city of Dallas received thousands of applications for its grant and loan program for small businesses affected by COVID-19, but demand has exceeded supply.

City officials say they got 3,900 within a week for the Small Business Continuity Funds program. 

Applicants requested more than $26 million — but only $5 million of funding is available.

The average loan request was about $30,000 and the average grant request was about $9,000.

About 40% of applications are from businesses owned by women, and about 40% are owned by African-Americans.

To qualify, businesses must be based in Dallas and must show they saw a 25% drop in revenue due to COVID-19.

Businesses could start getting funding in mid-June.

Dallas County Reports 224 More Cases

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 224 more cases of COVID-19, which brings the countywide total to 7,679. One additional death is reported — a Grand Prairie man in his 60s who had been critically ill in a hospital. A total of 177 people have died in Dallas County from COVID-19.

Tarrant County Reports 112 More Cases

Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 112 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 4,559.

Denton County Reports 19 More Cases

Denton County Public Health is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 1,088.

Collin County Reports 19 More Cases

Collin County Public Health is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 1,047.

Texas State Parks Gradually Restart Overnight Camping

Limited overnight camping begins Monday at state parks across Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says some existing reservations will be honored, but to prevent overcrowding, no new reservations can be made for now.

All visitors are required to pre-purchase and print day-use and overnight camping permits through the Texas State Parks website before traveling to a park.

TPWD recommends visitors wear face coverings and bring their own supply of hand sanitizer. The department says state parks will continue to require six feet of distancing from people outside of your group. Gatherings of larger than five people not in the same family or household are prohibited in state parks, TPWD says. — KUT

Read More: A Timeline Of COVID-19’s Spread In North Texas 

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