During the COVID-19 pandemic the Texas Supreme Court halted all evictions and debt collection in Texas.  Even after 1.9 million people in Texas have filed for unemployment,  the state’s highest court just lifted the eviction and collection statute.

Evictions and collections will resume in Amarillo as early as May 26. Certain tenants protected by the federal CARES act (coronavirus aid relief and economic security) could be exempt from eviction proceedings. Those tenants include renters in homes covered by federally backed mortgages. Those tenants are protected from eviction or collection through August 23.

It is recommended that tenants show proof from their employers to landlords that they’ve been either furloughed or hours have been cut back, and try to establish a payment plan and agree to have it spread out over several months so tenants can get caught up by the end of the lease term. It’s always best to be upfront with landlords about any financial hardship that you are undergoing.

It was reported as well that bill collectors will be able to start collection proceedings in Amarillo as well, some of those reports put out information that is incorrect, stating that bill collectors can garnish wages. Texas state law prohibits bill collectors or financial companies private or public to garnish wages of any employed Texas citizen.  However that law does not prevent a creditor to garnish unpaid student loans, alimony, child support or taxes. Creditors may still try to seize or levy your assets including money that you have in the bank.

The best way to resolve any past debt or rent owed is to simply talk to your creditor and make a faithful plan that you can uphold.