Iowa Governor Temporarily Suspends Some Foreclosures
In a March 22, 2020, Proclamation of Disaster Emergency related to the COVID-19 crisis, the Iowa Governor temporarily suspended foreclosures of residential, commercial, and agricultural real property.
The Order states that it suspends the commencement of new foreclosure cases, as well as the prosecution of ongoing foreclosure proceedings. It does not relieve debtors of their obligation to make mortgage payments or comply with other contractural obligations. The Iowa Division of Banking and the Iowa Division of Credit Unions were ordered to direct banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions to "identify any tools, means, or methods that could be used to relieve Iowans of the threat of foreclosure."
While the Order temporarily suspends the foreclosure of agricultural real property, it does not appear to address the foreclosure of personal property used in agricultural production. Nor does it address the mandatory mediation requirements contained in Iowa Code section 654A for agricultural property. Last week, the Iowa Mediation Service issued a press release stating that it was suspending all mandatory mediation cases until April 24. It is unclear how this will impact producers and lenders.
We are hoping for more clarity regarding these issues. We will keep you posted during this time of ever-evolving updates.
The Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. The Center's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.