Nearly 250 Maricopa County Eviction Cases Were Sealed in 2 Weeks Thanks to New Law

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By Jessica Swarner

October 24, 2022

Evictions can show up on credit reports for up to seven years. 

Eviction filings are continuing to rise in Maricopa County, with the average judgment against tenants nearly doubling from four years ago.

Maricopa County Justice Courts spokesman Scott Davis said earlier this month that September was the third month in a row in which the filings were higher than they had been since October 2008.

That month, the courts saw 6,975 eviction cases, while in September of this year, there were 6,685 cases. 

RELATED: Maricopa County Evictions Highest They’ve Been in 13 Years

The average judgment against an evicted tenant has hit $3,337.50, up from $1,750.58 in 2008, said Davis. He said the higher number in part has to do with landlords catching up on amounts owed over the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s also due to the increase in rent over the past few years. 

According to apartment search website Zumper, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Phoenix is $1,368, up 7% from this month last year. Five years ago, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment was under $900 a month. 

Newly Sealed Cases 

Davis also noted the number of eviction cases being sealed to protect tenants is rising due to a new law, with 248 cases sealed in just two weeks. 

The law, which took effect Sept. 24, allows cases to be sealed to protect the tenant from future credit problems if a case is dismissed before the judge rules, is ruled in favor of the tenant, or if the parties file a written agreement to set aside a case after judgment. 

RELATED: Fewer Eviction Filings Will Show Up on Credit Reports Thanks to This New Law

Evictions can show up on credit reports for up to seven years and negatively impact a tenant’s chances of having an application accepted. 

Maricopa County had among the highest levels of evictions in the United States before state and federal eviction moratoriums slowed lockouts during the pandemic. Those eviction bans have long since ended.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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