HousingPolicy.org Forum

Join us on Tuesday, August 25 from 2 - 4:00 p.m. EDT to learn more about the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, and get answers to your questions from Catherine Bendor of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Danna Fischer of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and David Rammler of the National Housing Law Project.

  • Hear about the Act: The two-part event begins at 2:00 p.m. EDT with a 30-minute conference call, where speakers will discuss the legislative history of the provisions, the meaning of the law and the impact of the provisions on state and local laws and practices. The call-in number is (712) 432-1001 and the access code is 498796833#.
  • Interact with the speakers: Immediately following the call, from 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. EDT, the speakers will be online to answer your questions. All questions for the speakers should be posted to this thread by pressing the Add Reply button. You are welcome to post at any time leading up to or during the event. Questions will be answered on a first-come, first-served basis until time runs out, so post early to be sure yours is addressed.

    Thank you to all who participated in this Live at the Forum event. Audio from the conference call can be accessed here.

    Note: The panelists jointly responded to questions under the user name "Center for Housing Policy staff".

    About the Act
    The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), P. L. 111-22, was signed by President Obama May 20, 2009. The Act provides significant new protections for tenants in foreclosed properties, including a 90-day notice requirement and the right to remain for the term of the lease in most cases. Specifically, the PTFA requires that the immediate successor in interest at foreclosure (1) Provide bona fide tenants with 90 days notice prior to eviction, and (2) Allow bona fide tenants with leases entered into prior to the foreclosure sale to occupy the property until the end of the lease term. (The lease can be terminated on 90 days notice if the unit is sold to a purchaser who will occupy the property.) In the case of an owner who is an immediate successor in interest to a property occupied by a tenant with a section 8 voucher, the owner takes the property subject to both the section 8 lease and the housing assistance payment contract, except in the case where the owner will occupy the unit as a primary residence.

    Please see the attached memo for more details.

Tags: live at the forum

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Replies to This Discussion

The Protecting Renters at Foreclosure Act provides rights that are a huge step forward for increasing the stability of renters whose landlord has lost the building to foreclosure, but do renters know about their new rights? Do you have a sense of what states, localities, and non-profits are doing to ensure that renters in foreclosed properties don't move as a result of fear and misinformation? Is the outreach working?
This question arose before the call and was addressed in our presentation.
In many cases, laws that protect renters are only applied to multi-family buildings with 4 or more units. With the Protecting Renters at Foreclosure Act, will the law apply to renters in single-family homes or smaller buildings (4 units or less)? Will the new law protect boarders renting a room in a house that is being foreclosed?
This question arose before the call and was answered during our presentation.
Does the Act apply to tenants with oral rental agreements? If so, would they need to show rent receipts or canceled checks to demonstrate that they are a legitimate renter rather than a squatter?
The Act applies to any bona fide lease (see 702(a)(2)(A)) and does not specify that the lease must be a written lease. If it is a lease without a fixed term or with a fixed term of 90 days or less (e.g. month to month or terminable at will), the tenant is still entitled to 90 days' notice. The immediate successor in interest may require proof of tenancy. If there is no written lease, the successor could request rent receipts or other proof that the person in indeed a tenant and has been paying rent.
What has the legal services community said about the act's impact on the ground? How common is it for a new owner (bank or otherwise) to try to evict a tenant illegally?
The impact thus far appears to vary from lender to lender. There are some legal services offices that are actively monitoring the problem and working to ensure that the law is enforced, but there are other geographical regions from which we have heard little thus far. We don't have any comprehensive data yet, but as we mentioned on the call we're hoping to monitor the situation and encourage people to contact us at PTFAmatters@gmail.com to let us know about implementation - both problems and successes.
Any update on how housing authorities are working out HAP payments to new owners when the original landlord fails to redeem (i.e. stop payment at the end of the redemption period until someone/ entity comes forward with proof of successorship/redemption and a tax ID?)?
Other than what's in the HUD Notice (74 Fed. Reg. 30106, June 24, 2009), we don't have any further information on this point.
Please note: The HUD notice is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-14909.pdf.
Is a 90-day notice required, prior to filing an eviction action after May 20, 2009, if the foreclosure-by-sale occurred prior to May 20?

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