Guest Blogger: Lillia Ann Gray – Effective May 20, 2009

As you may or may not know, on May 20, federal provisions immediately went into effect that protect tenants living in foreclosed buildings. (The Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act is Title VII of Public Law 111-22).

These provisions are “self-executing,” which means that no federal agency (such as HUD) is responsible for implementing them.

This Public Law applies to all federally-related mortgage loan or on any dwelling or residential real property so this will apply to all State foreclosure cases.

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) has prepared materials that will help key players understand the provisions and help tenants exercise their new rights under this law. NHLP’s materials include sample letters that tenants can use to inform their landlords, as well as sample letters advocates can use to inform the courts and public housing authorities. The NHLP materials are available on the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) homepage at http://www.nlihc.org/template/page.cfm?id=227

All tenants must get a 90 day notice prior to eviction due to foreclosure – at a minimum.

In addition (with some exceptions) tenants that have leases can continue to live in their homes until the end of the term of their lease, The rights of Section 8 tenants are also protected because the new owner at foreclosure must accept both the tenant’s lease and the housing assistance payment (HAP) contract.

For details of the new tenant protection provisions, in addition to the NHLP materials (http://www.nlihc.org/template/page.cfm?id=227) see an NLIHC memo on the homepage, http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Memo-Renter-Protections-S-896.pdf, and a May 22 Memo to Members article, http://www.nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=6143.

 – Lillia Ann Gray

Ms. Gray is a Staff Attorney at the SC Department of Consumer Affairs.

PS For more News, see this article in the Charleston Post and Courier.

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