WASHINGTON—Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 1354) today. The bill ensures expired federal protections for renters living in foreclosed properties are renewed.
“Families who pay their rent and play by the rules should not be evicted simply because their landlord fails to pay his mortgage,” Sen. Blumenthal said. “This measure is necessary to protect tenants from eviction when their landlord defaults. The Act that protected them previously expired in 2014, so tenants may now be evicted, inexplicably and inexcusably when the building owner faces foreclosure. As a matter of common sense and basic fairness, families should be spared life on the street when landlords shirk their obligations.”
“When a building owner falls into foreclosure, people who live in the property may be forced out—even if they’ve paid their rent in full and on time,” Ellison said. “It’s wrong that families face homelessness because the owner of the property where they live failed to make payments on time. The Permanently Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act ensures families have the time they need to find new housing.”
“The PTFA provides critical protection to innocent renter families whose homes have been foreclosed. PTFA is an important tool, especially now, given the significant national shortage of rental housing,” said National Housing Law Project Executive Director Marcia Rosen.
“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 National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty Executive Director Maria Foscarinis.
“We are grateful to Senator Blumenthal and Representative Ellison for introducing this crtical legislation to protect renters when their landlords’ properties go into foreclosure. We hope Congress acts swiftly to enact these protections,” said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO for National Low Income Housing Coalition.
While much of the response to the foreclosure crisis has focused on homeowners, 27% of properties and 40% of the units in foreclosure are estimated to be renter-occupied. These renters often have no idea that their landlord has fallen behind on mortgage payments, and usually have continued to pay their rent even as their landlord has failed to pay the mortgage. Prior to the passage of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) in May 2009, tenants were often required to move with as little as a few days-notice. The law ensured that most tenants can stay in their home for the remainder of their lease or for at least 90 days post-foreclosure.
But Congress did not extend the PTFA and it expired on December 31, 2014. The Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2015 makes the law permanent.
The Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2015 is co-sponsored by: Reps. G.K. Butterfield, Michael Capuano, Katherine Clark, Elijah Cummings, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Hank Johnson, Alcee L. Hastings, Rubén Hinojosa, Marci Kaptur, Jim Langevin, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Stephen Lynch, Carolyn B. Maloney, James P. McGovern, Gregory Meeks, Gwen Moore, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mark Pocan, Louise Slaughter, Adam Smith, Mark Takano and Maxine Waters.
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