Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. Ellison Introduce the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

Feb 13, 2017
Press Release

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – WASHINGTONSen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) introduced the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (H.R. 915/S. 325) last week. The bill ensures expired federal protections for renters living in foreclosed properties are renewed.  

"It’s a matter of basic fairness and commonsense: families should not be kicked to the curb because their landlord didn’t pay his mortgage,” Senator Blumenthal said. “But under current law, families who pay their rent and play by the rules can be evicted when their building owner faces foreclosure. This critical bill would protect tenants by ensuring they are spared life on the streets 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,” Rep. 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 NHLP Executive Director Shamus Roller.

 

"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 Law Center Executive Director Maria Foscarinis. “The PTFA provides critical protection to responsible renters whose homes have been foreclosed upon.”

 

“We are grateful to Representative Ellison for introducing this critical legislation to protect renters when their landlords’ properties go into foreclosure. We urge Congress to act swiftly to enact these protections,” said Diane Yentel, President and CEO for NLIHC.

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 2017 restores the national standard and makes the law permanent. 

The Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2017 is co-sponsored by:  Reps. Maxine Waters, Carolyn B. Maloney, Stephen F. Lynch, Gwen Moore, G.K. Butterfield, Michael Capuano, Katherine Clark, Elijah Cummings, Raúl Grijalva, John Lewis, James P. McGovern, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mark Pocan, David Cicilline, Adam Smith, Matt Cartwright, Mark Takano and Maxine Waters.