(OPINION) Michael Snyder – It is the beginning of August, and a day of reckoning has finally arrived for renters all over the nation. Since last September, a moratorium that was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been protecting millions of renters that have been unable or unwilling to make their monthly rent payments.

But now that moratorium is officially over, and all of that back rent is due. For some renters, that will mean that nearly a full year of rent will need to be paid. The millions of Americans that cannot or will not pay what is owed can now be legally evicted. This is a major national disaster that has been building up for many months, and now it is finally here. Welcome to the biggest eviction horror show in American history.

It is going to be a doozy. Some are still desperately hoping that members of Congress will do something once they return from their August vacations. At this point, that does not appear likely. So for now, there doesn’t appear to be any hope of averting the largest eviction tsunami that any of us have ever seen.


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Of course, it was inevitable that this day was going to come sooner or later. After all, what else could we do? Did anyone out there actually think that it would be possible to tell landlords that they could never collect rent ever again? If we did that, there wouldn’t be any more landlords. So many landlords out there are really hurting financially right now. In fact, some of them have not been able to collect rent from certain tenants since the eviction moratorium was first put into place last September…

Due to widespread job loss and the health risks of the Covid-19 pandemic, many renters in the US faced difficulty making their rent payments every month when the pandemic began in early 2020, and the federal government stepped in to prevent people from getting evicted in the midst of it. As part of this response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instituted a moratorium in September 2020 that prevented landlords from evicting their tenants regardless of whether they could pay their monthly rent in full or at all.

Now the wait is over, and landlords have nearly a year’s worth of eviction notices to file. During the early part of this week, landlords are going to be racing to take advantage of the opportunity that they suddenly have. There is still a possibility that Congress could decide to do something in a few weeks, and so landlords will want to evict people as quickly as they can. And we are talking about a massive number of people.

According to USA Today, this eviction moratorium “was the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes”… A federal freeze on most evictions enacted last year expired Saturday after President Joe Biden’s administration extended the original date by a month. The moratorium, put in place by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September, was the only tool keeping millions of tenants in their homes.

Many of them lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic and had fallen months behind on their rent. In this particular case, “millions” is not an exaggeration at all. According to the Census Bureau, approximately 3.6 million Americans are potentially facing eviction within the next two months, and the Aspen Institute says that over 15 million Americans are currently behind in making rent payments…

More than 15 million people live in households that owe as much as $20 billion to their landlords, according to the Aspen Institute. As of July 5, roughly 3.6 million people in the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. Others have come up with similar numbers. On his website, Mike Shedlock shared numbers that he pulled from official U.S government data…

7.43 million in rental properties are not current
5.95 million owner-occupied housing are not current
8.71 million live in owner-occupied homes where the homeowners have little or no confidence in ability to pay their mortgage
12.71 million live in rental properties where the heads of household have little or no confidence in ability to pay their rent
This is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.

And the fact that the deadline was pushed back several times just made the scale of the tragedy even larger. In addition, we need to remember that enhanced federal unemployment benefits are ending in the majority of states in September. A whole lot of people will soon be hit by a “double whammy”.

Their federal benefits are ending at the same time they are suddenly faced with a bill for all of their unpaid rent. So what is this country going to look like when millions of impoverished Americans are suddenly thrown out into the streets? Personally, I think that the stage has been set for civil unrest and riots.

Sadly, this is what can happen when we give people free rent for almost a year and then suddenly take it away. Our system is simply not designed to handle a sudden disruption of this magnitude. Public and private organizations will attempt to help those that are suffering, but they will be overwhelmed very rapidly. Already, more than half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. What will the number be after this unprecedented wave of evictions is over? READ MORE

Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.