Legislation would protect tenants at foreclosure

Feb 23 2017
Posted by: Staff
Legislation would protect tenants at foreclosure

By: Amelia Ferrell Knisely

Lawmakers in Washington and advocates are hoping to permanently extend a bill that would provide protection to renters whose homes have been foreclosed upon.

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which took effect in 2009 and expired in 2014, provided most renters with the right to at least 90 days’ notice before being required to move after foreclosure. Now, renters in many states, including Tennessee, who often have no idea that their landlords are behind on mortgage payments, can be evicted with just a few days' notice.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced legislation Feb. 7 to permanently extend the PTFA.

"Without federal protections in place, many renters in foreclosed properties are vulnerable to summary eviction — and homelessness. In nearly half the states, these renters can be evicted with five days' notice or less, through no fault of their own," said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. “The PTFA provides critical protection to responsible renters whose homes have been foreclosed upon.”

The National Housing Law Project and the National Low Income Housing Coalition have also praised the lawmakers’ actions.

"(The) PTFA is an important tool, especially now, given the significant national shortage of rental housing,” said NHLP Executive Director Shamus Roller.

The PTFA was the only federal protection for renters living in foreclosed properties before Congress failed to extend the PTFA law. It expired Dec. 31, 2014. 

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