Rep. Ellison Introduces the Permanently Protect Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced the Permanently Protect Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2013 (H.R. 3543) today. The bill will ensure that the current federal protections for renters living in foreclosed properties do not expire.
“The Permanently Protect Tenants at Foreclosure Act protects renters who live in homes where the owner falls into foreclosure,” Ellison said. “Families living in rental housing shouldn’t face homelessness because the owner of the property failed to make payments on time.”
While much of the response to the foreclosure crisis has focused on homeowners, 27% of properties and 40% of the units in foreclosure are actually 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. Now, the law ensures that most tenants can stay in their home for the remainder of their lease or for at least 90 days post-foreclosure.
However, if Congress does not take action to extend the law, the PTFA will expire on December 31, 2014. The Permanently Protect Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2013 makes the law permanent and gives renters more resources to deal with violations of PTFA.
"The PTFA Act was a groundbreaking piece of federal legislation based on a recognition that the foreclosure crisis was hitting a lot more people than homeowners,” National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Sheila Crowley said. “Almost half the people who lost their homes due to foreclosure were renters and they had no protections whatsoever. This piece of legislation needs to continue because if it expires, renters will have no federal protection, and the remaining patchwork of state laws will leave renters in many states facing the threat of immediate eviction again through no fault of their own. People who faithfully pay their rent every month should not be subjected to the threat of losing their home because their landlord is facing foreclosure. The National Low Income Housing Coalition commends Senator Blumenthal and Representative Ellison for their leadership in this effort to protect renters in foreclosure."
“We applaud Congressman Ellison’s proposal to make permanent the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act provisions. This law has worked well for many years. It provides peace of mind for tenants that the terms of their lease will be honored and they will have adequate time to find a new place to live when they are caught up in a foreclosure through no fault of their own,” said Ron Elwood, Supervising Attorney of the Legal Services Advocacy Project in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Permanently Protect Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2013 is co-sponsored by Reps. Butterfield, Capuano, Cicciline, Clarke, Conyers, Grijalva, Hinojosa, Kildee, Maloney, McDermott, McGovern, George Miller, Moore, Rangel, Rush, Sanchez, Schakowsky and Wilson (FL).