Alaska Passes New Law Prohibiting Foreclosures During the Coronavirus Crisis

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy signed SB 241 into law, which imposes a foreclosure moratorium in that state. To get protection against a foreclosure, you have to provide your mortgage lender a sworn statement that you're experiencing a “financial hardship” due to the coronavirus outbreak.

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sending thousands of homeowners into financial distress, many states, along with the federal government, have passed laws and issued orders imposing foreclosure moratoriums for specific types of loans and in many places. These foreclosure moratoriums, depending on the order or regulation, usually prohibit the initiation or continuation of foreclosures until the public health emergency due to coronavirus ends.

On May 18, 2020, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy signed SB 241 into law, which imposes a foreclosure moratorium in that state. For those experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 public health disaster emergency, this new law suspends foreclosures until the earlier of:

  • the date the governor determines that the novel coronavirus disease public health disaster emergency no longer exists, or
  • June 30, 2020.

Vacant or abandoned homes, though, aren’t included in the foreclosure ban.

How to Get Foreclosure Protection Under the New Alaska Law

To get protection against a foreclosure, before June 30, 2020, you have to provide the lender seeking foreclosure a signed statement, sworn under penalty of perjury, that you're experiencing a “financial hardship” related to the COVID-19 public health disaster emergency

Under the law, a "financial hardship" means that your liquid assets from any source, including payments from the state or federal government because of the COVID-19 public health disaster emergency or a state or national disaster declaration related to COVID-19, when combined, would be insufficient to pay the reasonable cost of food, housing, health care, and other goods and services vital to the health and wellness of you, your spouse, and dependents.

Getting Mortgage Payment Relief Under Federal Law

Alaska's measure doesn’t relieve a borrower's obligation to pay a mortgage debt during the emergency. Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, though, an Alaska homeowner with a federally backed mortgage loan, regardless of delinquency status (meaning, even if you’re facing a foreclosure), who's experiencing a financial hardship that's due directly or indirectly to COVID-19, can get a forbearance. The forbearance period will last up to 180 days and can be extended up to 180 additional days.

Also, even if you don’t have a federally backed mortgage loan, your lender or servicer might offer different kinds of mortgage help, like forbearances, modifications, or other alternatives. (To learn more about mortgage payment relief during the coronavirus pandemic, read How to Get Mortgage Payment Relief During the Coronavirus Outbreak.)

Effective date: May 18, 2020