California Judicial Council Approves Rules Suspending Judicial Foreclosure Proceedings Due to Coronavirus

The California Judicial Council has approved new rules for the state’s courtrooms that include postponing judicial foreclosure proceedings and evictions.

Update: As of September 1, 2020, the California Judicial Council rules that suspended foreclosure and eviction actions in California's courts will sunset (expire).

On April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council of California—the policy-making arm of the state’s court system—approved temporary emergency rules for the state’s courtrooms during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The emergency rules, among other things, postpone judicial foreclosure actions, as well as suspend the issuance of summons and entry of default judgments in unlawful detainer (eviction) actions.

Although most foreclosures in California are nonjudicial, lenders may choose to file complaints for foreclosures and deficiency judgments with the courts. An eviction action after a nonjudicial foreclosure also has to go through the court system. Because homeowners will likely find it difficult to participate in a court action due to the COVID-19 crisis and court staff is also impacted by the outbreak, the council decided to:

  • stay (postpone) court proceedings on these and other court actions until 90 days after the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted or until the Judicial Council revokes them
  • toll the statute of limitations for filing such actions for the same period, and
  • continue (extend) the deadlines for exercising any rights of redemption on foreclosure sales.

To learn more about the Council's temporary measures, see Nolo’s blog How Is the Coronavirus Impacting Court Cases?

Also, on March 25, the California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an agreement with multiple banks and credit unions allowing Californians who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to receive a 90-day forbearance on making mortgage payments. The banks also agreed not to initiate foreclosure sales or evictions for at least 60 days.

Effective date: April 6, 2020