STRATEGIC DEFAULT 2020 STYLE: RENTERS CAN LIVE RENT FREE FOR A YEAR OR MORE

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STRATEGIC DEFAULT 2020 STYLE: RENTERS CAN LIVE RENT FREE FOR A YEAR OR MORE

Strategic Default was a term coined during the 2008 Great Recession describing homeowners who stopped paying their mortgages but continued to occupy their house or collect rents from their investment properties. They could live in the house or collect rent without having to pay the mortgage. See my 2009 article on that subject.

While more common in residential houses, it also occurred in commercial properties where apartment or strip mall owners would stop paying the mortgage (and some stopped paying maintenance vendors and employees) but continue to collect rent. Foreclosures were backlogged due to an overburdened legal system so that the property owner could enjoy free housing for years. There was one homeowner rumored to live in Las Vegas who purchased a home with “no down payment” and lived completely free for five years.

Now it’s the renters turn to strategically default. Of the 110 million Americans living in rental households 20 percent are expected to not pay rent due to COVID. A federal rent moratorium prevents evictions for an estimated 12 million renters who are not paying rent. States, counties and cities also enacted their own rent moratoriums. For example, California freezes all evictions until September 30, 2020 but could extend that to the end of the year. The renter will have 12 months to repay the back rent once the moratorium is lifted.

But in California, the eviction courts will be unable to process the backlog of evictions in a timely manner. Most of the judges, when they return to work, will be adjudicating priority cases such as criminal cases which take priority due to the Constitutional right “to a speedy jury trial”. With few judges allocated towards eviction, the trials will be postponed for months.

Renters who cannot pay “regular” monthly rent during the eviction moratorium will owe back rent, which will need to be paid back some day. But they will not be able to afford to pay regular rent plus back rent. Those renters who cannot afford to pay rent are generally in deep financial trouble and are deep in debt. They will be evicted and stuck with a large back rent debt, and other debts, with their best option to file bankruptcy which will discharge all their debt. Thus, they will have effectively lived rent free for a year or longer.

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ORANGE COUNTY RESTRAINING ORDERS DURING COVID

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Elder Abuse Restraining Orders Orange County During COVID Summer 2020

A RESTRAINING ORDER CAN PREVENT A PERSON FROM RAIDING AN OLD PERSON’S BANK ACCOUNT

August 9, 2020. AN Elder Abuse Temporary Restraining Order (EATRO) continues to be fully available in Orange County regardless of the court’s closures. If someone is attempting to gain a financial advantage over a person age 65 and older, an EATRO may be the answer. That is a special type of restraining order only for older people seeking protection.

The person doing the harassing may be a caregiver, a scammer or anyone. There is currently one judge “open” at the main Orange County Courthouse Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, who permits both remote and live court hearings.

The initial EATRO can be granted ex parte based on documentary evidence only, with little or no notice to the other side. The judge will order the temporary restraining order and schedule a trial date 25 days later to determine if the temporary order should become permanent- up to five years long. The “restrained” person must be served with the court documents and trial date. The trial can be in person, remotely or a hybrid of both. After the trial is held, the court rules on whether or not to grant a permanent order.

YOUNG PEOPLE ALSO SEEK RESTRAINING ORDERS AGAINST OLD PEOPLE

Not uncommonly, a person younger than age 65 is seeking a restraining order against the older person. Some older people even in their 80’s can “harass” or even threaten a younger person. That younger person usually has some relationship with the older person sometimes they are an “in-law” or neighbor. The older person may or may not have cognitive impairment. Regardless of the reason, or who it is, the court has the legal authority to restrain the older person. Those restraining orders are brought under the normal Civil Harassment Restraining Order law because the person seeking protection is under age 65. It doesn’t matter if the person harassing is older than 65.

RESTRAINING ORDERS BROUGHT BY IMMEDIATELY FAMILY MEMBERS ARE FILED IN FAMILY COURT

When the person seeking protection is a family member of the person doing the harassing, the restraining order is brought in family court. That is true regardless of the age of either person; at least that is how the court’s are currently handling that issue. All family restraining orders i.e. grandparent grandchild, will be heard in family court.

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MOST HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE CHEATING ON ONLINE EXAMS

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THE LION’S SHARE OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CHEAT ON ONLINE EXAMS

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE CHEATING IN RECORD NUMBERS

August 6, 2020. WHILE no formal statistics exist, my estimate is that more than 75% of high school students cheat during online exams. Cheating during an online exam is easy, effective and safe. Most students cheat by Googling the question on their laptop while they are sitting for the exam. Since so many students are cheating in the United States, Google already has the exact question and answer, so it takes less time to Google than to “critically analyze and think through” a question.

GOOD GRADES CAN BE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RICH AND POOR

If good grades are important because they often (but not always) make the difference between being poor and being rich, the stakes are sky-high and cheating is clearly worth the risk of getting caught; and the potential guilt can be eliminated later in mid-life through psychotherapy.

SOME CHEATING IS FULL PROOF

For example, assume your taking an organic chemistry exam which is one of the dreaded courses ever forced upon a student. The student could have a “friend/chem tutor” stand off-screen in the corner of the room with a clipboard, laptop of of their own, and a separate monitor to see what the student sees, and that tutor could signal the answer to the student. The student could miss a couple questions on purpose to avoid suspicion.

ONLINE CHEATING CANNOT BE DETERRED OR PREVENTED

Catching online cheaters created high tech “proctors” which are private companies that specialize in preventing online cheating. Requiring the students to leave their webcams on during the exam, monitoring key strokes, checking browser histories, and even iris detection for identification, are unproven ways to prevent or deter cheating.

CREATING TRICKY EXAMS DOES NOT TEST SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE

Exams cannot be designed to avoid cheating. Creating tricky “lawyer like” bar exams is not the answer. Those antiquated exams, have multiple choice questions with weird answers such as “D. A and B are both the best responses”; or questions such as “which is the least best answer to the following narrative….” Those exams do nothing more than make the educators who create the exams feel smarter.

Other unproven ways to create exams that deter online cheating include using more essay questions, and open book exams; but too often those types of questions do not test the students knowledge of the subject matter, but rather the student’s ability to take exams in general and they favor students with superior reading and writing skills.

The only answer is to have in-person exams, with proctors walking up and down the aisle, but that is months or years away.

The author Attorney James R. Stout has passed three bar exams: California, Arizona and Nevada.

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Stout Law Firm Opens in Las Vegas Nevada

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Elder Abuse Stout Law Firm Orange County

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STOUT LAW FIRM

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