COVID-19 Moratorium on Collection of Common Expense Assessments Lifted

Saul Ewing LLP

Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Executive Orders issued by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker have prevented condominium and homeowner associations from effectively pursuing collection of unpaid assessments through the Illinois Eviction Act. Effective June 25, 2021, Executive Order 2021-13 allows associations to pursue remedies under the Eviction Act for non-payment of assessments, subject to certain limitations.  

The filing of an action pursuant to the Illinois Eviction Act has always been the preferred (as well as the most effective) way for a condominium or homeowner association to collect unpaid owner assessments. However, since March of 2020, Executive Orders issued by Gov. Pritzker in response to COVID-19 have prohibited use of the Eviction Act in residential situations, including actions to collect assessments and other charges. However, effective June 25, 2021, Executive Order 2021-13 (click here for a copy) allows associations to resume pursuing remedies under the Eviction Act, subject to certain limitations. Insofar as condominium and common interest community associations are concerned, Executive Order 2021-13 provides:

  • Associations may file and pursue eviction lawsuits against a “Non-Covered Person” unit owner to collect unpaid assessments. (A “Covered Person” is someone who timely submits a declaration that such person would, among other things, likely be homeless or be forced to live in a congregate or shared living setting if evicted.)
  • An Eviction Order entered by a judge before March 20, 2020 can now be placed with the Sheriff to perform an eviction.
  • Beginning on June 25, 2021, an Eviction Order entered by a judge against a “Non-Covered Person” can be placed with the Sheriff to perform an eviction.
  • Beginning on June 25, 2021, post-judgment collection activity against unit owners (e.g., wage garnishment, citation to discover assets) may be initiated.

At least for now, associations are still not able to commence an eviction action against anyone who is a “Covered Person,” and an association (or its attorneys) must send a blank “Covered Person Declaration” form by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, at least five days before issuing a 30-day Notice and Demand to an owner. A copy of the required Covered Person Declaration form is available by clicking here).  

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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