Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2877
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Full Text of HB2877  102nd General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
Article 5.

5    Section 5-1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
6COVID-19 Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program Act.
7    Section 5-5. Purposes and findings. The purpose of this
8Act is for the State to implement federal Coronavirus Relief
9Fund (CRF) assistance to renters administered by the U.S.
10Department of the Treasury, appropriated from the Consolidated
11Appropriations Act, 2021.
12    International, national, State, and local governments and
13health authorities are responding to an outbreak of a disease
14caused by the novel Coronavirus referred to as COVID-19.
15African American and Latino households in the State are at
16disproportionate risk of exposure to and the contraction of
17COVID-19 and to economic effects of this pandemic.
18    On March 9, 2020, the Governor issued a disaster
19declaration proclamation in this State because of the threat
20of COVID-19.
21    On March 26, 2020, the President of the United States
22declared that a major disaster exists in the State and ordered



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1Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local
2recovery efforts in the areas affected by the COVID-19
3pandemic beginning on January 20, 2020 and continuing.
4    Unpaid rent, late fees, and court costs are currently
5accruing against residential tenants and will be demanded by
6landlords after the expiration of the emergency period.
7    To reduce the rental arrears throughout this State, all
8eligible residential landlords and tenants alike shall avail
9themselves of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
10    The State deems it necessary to protect public health,
11life, and property during this declared state of emergency by
12protecting residential tenants, homeowners, and housing
13providers from certain evictions and other hardships during
14this public health and economic crisis.
15    Section 5-10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
16    "Administering State agency" means any agency or
17department of the State that is eligible to receive a direct
18federal allocation of federal Emergency Rental Assistance
19funds that will disburse funds and administer all or a portion
20of the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
21    "Applicant" or "program applicant" means any person or
22entity who is a residential tenant or lessee or landlord or
23lessor that has submitted an application, individually or
24jointly, to receive federal Emergency Rental Assistance funds.
25    "Eligible household" has the same meaning as used by the



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1federal law enacting the federal Emergency Rental Assistance
3    "Program" means the federal Emergency Rental Assistance
5    Section 5-15. Federal Emergency Rental Assistance program.
6    (a) Any department or agency of the State eligible to
7receive a direct federal allocation and charged with
8disbursing allocated funds and administering the federal
9program shall do so in accordance with federal and State law.
10    (b) Consistent with federal law, any State agency
11administering this program shall create a process to provide
12rental assistance directly to eligible renters and to obviate
13or minimize the necessity of lessor or utility provider
14participation in submitting the application when the lessor or
15utility provider: (i) refuses to accept a direct payment; or
16(ii) fails to cooperate with an application for assistance.
17The administering State agency shall make payments to a lessor
18or utility provider on behalf of an eligible household with a
19statement indicating which eligible household the payment is
20being made for, except that, if the lessor or utility provider
21does not agree to accept such a payment from the administering
22State agency after the administering State agency has made
23contact with the lessor or utility provider, then the
24administering State agency may make such payments directly to
25the eligible household for the purpose of the eligible



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1household making payments to the lessor or utility provider.
2Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this Act shall be
3construed to require a lessor or utility provider to accept
4funds from the program, whether paid directly by the
5administering State agency or by the eligible household.
6    (c) Consistent with federal law, any State agency
7administering this program shall provide rental assistance in
8an amount based on stated need rather than on a flat or fixed
9amount. An eligible household's stated need may include, but
10is not limited to, the amount of arrears owed to a lessor,
11utility provider, or both, or future rental payments based on
12monthly rent.
13    (d) Consistent with federal law, nothing in this Act shall
14be construed as precluding any administering State agency from
15capping or setting a limit on the amount of emergency rental
16payments made on behalf of any single household. The
17administering State agency may adopt additional eligibility
18criteria, application procedures, and program rules necessary
19to administer the program in conformity with the priorities
20and public policies expressed within this Act and federal law,
21as it may be amended.
22    (e) Consistent with federal law prohibiting duplicative
23payments from other federal programs, an administering State
24agency shall not disqualify an eligible household from the
25program based on previous application for or receipt of other
26similar federal assistance for periods that are different than



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1that for which the program assistance is being provided under
2this Act.
3    (f) Unless necessary to comply with applicable federal or
4State law, the administering State agency shall not, for
5purposes of determining program eligibility, require a fully
6executed written lease or any type of documentation relating
7to any household member's immigration status. The
8administering State agency may accept a demand for rent
9letter, ledger or statement containing the outstanding
10balance, termination notice, or other alternative form of
11documentation containing or showing the amount of rental or
12utility arrears owed.
13    Section 5-20. Accessibility and transparency.
14    (a) In addition to federal requirements, the administering
15State agency shall make publicly accessible by publishing on
16its website any important program information, including, but
17not limited to, the following:
18        (1) program application forms for households and
19    lessors, including any joint program application forms;
20        (2) program eligibility requirements;
21        (3) the administering State agency's procedures and
22    processes for administering the program;
23        (4) the administering State agency's procedures and
24    communication methods for notifying program applicants of
25    defective applications due to incompletion, errors,



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1    missing information, or any other impediment;
2        (5) the administering State agency's procedures and
3    methods for applicants to remedy defective applications
4    due to incompletion, errors, missing information, or any
5    other impediment; and
6        (6) any other important program information critical
7    to applicants, including renters and lessors relating to
8    the application requirements and process, eligibility
9    determination, and disbursement of payment.
10    (b) The administering State agency shall ensure that
11important program information, including the application and
12all marketing materials, is language accessible by publishing
13to its website the same in both English and Spanish.
14    Section 5-25. Process for further prioritizing applicants
15for financial assistance and housing stability services. In
16addition to federal program eligibility and prioritization
17requirements, the administering State agency shall make best
18efforts to give further prioritization to an eligible
19household: (i) located within a disproportionately impacted
20area based on positive COVID-19 cases; (ii) that has a
21documented history of housing instability or homelessness; or
22(iii) that has a significant amount of rental arrears.
23    Section 5-30. Required notifications and correspondence.
24The administering State agency shall ensure it communicates



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1clearly with an applicant about the application determination
2process, including acceptance, status of a pending
3application, and any reason for denying an application.
4        (1) The administering State agency shall provide
5    notice to an applicant upon finding that a submitted
6    application is defective or should otherwise be considered
7    ineligible, denied, or rejected.
8        (2) The notice from the administering State agency
9    shall explain the reason why an applicant's submitted
10    application is defective or should otherwise be considered
11    ineligible, denied, or rejected.
12        (3) The notice shall contain the necessary
13    information, process, accepted method, and deadline for
14    the applicant to remedy any defective or deficient
15    application, provided that remedy is possible.
16        (4) All notice and correspondence required to be
17    provided by the administering State agency shall be given
18    promptly and without unnecessary delay to any applicant.
Article 10.

20    Section 10-5. The Code of Civil Procedure is amended by
21changing Section 9-121 and by adding Sections 9-121.5, 9-122,
2215-1513, and 15-1514 as follows:
23    (735 ILCS 5/9-121)



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1    Sec. 9-121. Sealing of court file.
2    (a) Definition. As used in this Section, "court file"
3means the court file created when an eviction action is filed
4with the court.
5    (b) Discretionary sealing of court file. The court may
6order that a court file in an eviction action be placed under
7seal if the court finds that the plaintiff's action is
8sufficiently without a basis in fact or law, which may include
9a lack of jurisdiction, that placing the court file under seal
10is clearly in the interests of justice, and that those
11interests are not outweighed by the public's interest in
12knowing about the record.
13    (c) Mandatory sealing of court file. The court file
14relating to an eviction action brought against a tenant under
15Section 9-207.5 of this Code or as set forth in subdivision
16(h)(6) of Section 15-1701 of this Code shall be placed under
18    (d) This Section is operative on and after August 1, 2022.
19(Source: P.A. 100-173, eff. 1-1-18.)
20    (735 ILCS 5/9-121.5 new)
21    Sec. 9-121.5. Sealing of court file.
22    (a) As used in this Section, "court file" means the court
23file created when an eviction action is filed with the court.
24    (b) The court shall order the sealing of any court file in
25a residential eviction action if:



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1        (1) the interests of justice in sealing the court file
2    outweigh the public interest in maintaining a public
3    record;
4        (2) the parties to the eviction action agree to seal
5    the court file;
6        (3) there was no material violation of the terms of
7    the tenancy by the tenant; or
8        (4) the case was dismissed with or without prejudice.
9    (c) The court file relating to an eviction action brought
10against a tenant under Section 9-207.5 of this Code or as set
11forth in subdivision (h)(6) of Section 15-1701 of this Code
12shall be placed under seal.
13    (d) A sealed court file shall be made available only to the
14litigants in the case, their counsel or prospective counsel,
15and public employees responsible for processing the
16residential eviction action.
17    (e) Upon motion and order of the court, a sealed court file
18may be made available for scholarly, educational,
19journalistic, or governmental purposes only, balancing the
20interests of the parties and the public in nondisclosure with
21the interests of the requesting party. Identifying information
22of the parties shall remain sealed, unless the court
23determines that release of the information is necessary to
24fulfill the purpose of the request and the interests of
25justice so dictate. Nothing in this subsection shall permit
26the release of a sealed court file or the information



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1contained therein for a commercial purpose.
2    (f) Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e), any
3person who disseminates a court file sealed under this
4Section, or the information contained therein, for commercial
5purposes shall be liable for a civil penalty of $2,000, or
6twice the actual and consequential damages sustained,
7whichever is greater, as well as the costs of the action,
8including reasonable attorney's fees.
9    (g) The Attorney General may enforce a violation of this
10Section as an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud and
11Deceptive Business Practices Act. All remedies, penalties, and
12authority granted to the Attorney General by the Consumer
13Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act shall be available
14to him or her for the enforcement of this Section.
15    (h) Nothing in this Section prohibits a landlord from
16receiving a reference from a previous landlord of a
17prospective tenant. Nothing in this Section prohibits a
18landlord from providing a reference for a previous or current
19tenant to a prospective landlord of that tenant.
20    (i) This Section is repealed on August 1, 2022.
21    (735 ILCS 5/9-122 new)
22    Sec. 9-122. COVID-19 emergency sealing of court file.
23    (a) As used in this Section, "COVID-19 emergency and
24economic recovery period" means the period beginning on March
259, 2020, when the Governor issued the first disaster



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1proclamation for the State to address the circumstances
2related to COVID-19, and ending on March 31, 2022.
3    (b) The court file shall be sealed upon the commencement
4of any residential eviction action during the COVID-19
5emergency and economic recovery period. If a residential
6eviction action filed during the COVID-19 emergency and
7economic recovery period is pending on the effective date of
8this Act and is not sealed, the court shall order the sealing
9of the court file. In accordance with Section 9-121.5, no
10sealed court file, sealed under this Section, shall be
12    (c) If the court enters a judgment in favor of the
13landlord, the court may also enter an order to unseal the court
14file under this Section. A court shall order the court file to
15be unsealed if:
16        (1) the action is not based in whole or in part on the
17    nonpayment of rent during the COVID-19 emergency and
18    economic recovery period; and
19        (2) The requirements of subsection (b) or (c) of
20    Section 9-121.5 have not been met.
21    (d) Subsections (d) through (h) of Section 9-121.5 shall
22also be applicable and incorporated into this Section.
23    (735 ILCS 5/15-1513 new)
24    Sec. 15-1513. Temporary COVID-19 stay of judicial sales,
25orders of possession.



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1    (a) Notwithstanding Section 15-1507, no judicial
2foreclosure sale shall be held between the effective date of
3this Section and July 31, 2021. Any judicial foreclosure sale
4pending as of the effective date of this Section shall be
5cancelled and renoticed for a date after July 31, 2021.
6    (b) Notwithstanding subsection (g) of Section 15-1508, no
7order of possession pursuant to a confirmation of judicial
8foreclosure sale shall be entered by a court, placed with a
9sheriff for execution, or executed by a sheriff until a date
10after July 31, 2021.
11    (c) This Section applies to any action to foreclose a
12mortgage relating to (i) residential real estate as defined in
13Section 15-1219, and (ii) real estate improved with a dwelling
14structure containing dwelling units for 6 or fewer families
15living independently of each other in which the mortgagor is a
16natural person landlord renting the dwelling units, even if
17the mortgagor does not occupy any of the dwelling units as his
18or her personal residence.
19    (735 ILCS 5/15-1514 new)
20    Sec. 15-1514. Temporary COVID-19 stay of certain
21foreclosure proceedings and filings.
22    (a) This Section applies to any action to foreclose a
23mortgage relating to (i) residential real estate as defined in
24Section 15-1219, and (ii) real estate improved with a dwelling
25structure containing dwelling units for 6 or fewer families



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1living independently of each other in which the mortgagor is a
2natural person landlord renting the dwelling units, even if
3the mortgagor does not occupy any of the dwelling units as his
4or her personal residence.
5    (b) Any action to foreclose a mortgage pending on the
6effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General
7Assembly, including actions filed on or before March 9, 2020,
8or commenced within 30 days of the effective date of this
9amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly, shall be stayed
10until May 1, 2021.
11    (c) No court shall accept for filing any action to
12foreclose a mortgage before May 1, 2021.
13    (d) All deadlines related to any pending foreclosure
14proceeding on the effective date of this Section, including
15the running of any redemption period, are tolled until May 1,
17    (e) If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subsection, or
18part of this Section shall be adjudged by any court of
19competent jurisdiction to be invalid and after exhaustion of
20all further judicial review, the judgment shall not affect,
21impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be
22confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph,
23subsection, or part of this Section directly involved in the
24controversy in which the judgment shall have been rendered.
25    Section 10-15. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business



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1Practices Act is amended by adding Section 2Z.5 as follows:
2    (815 ILCS 505/2Z.5 new)
3    Sec. 2Z.5. Dissemination of a sealed a court file.
4    (a) A private entity or person who violates Section
59-121.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure commits an unlawful
6practice within the meaning of this Act.
7    (b) This Section is repealed on August 1, 2022.
Article 99.

9    Section 99-99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
10becoming law.