NLIHC participated in a congressional briefing on January 29 on the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) and the need to make it permanent. The briefing was held in collaboration with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN). Senator Blumenthal and Representative Ellison have sponsored legislation, S. 1761 and H.R. 3543 respectively, that would make the PTFA permanent and add a private right of action as an enforcement mechanism to the law. The PTFA assures that renters living in foreclosed properties have the right to at least 90 days’ notice before being required to move.
Representatives from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and the Public Justice Center in Baltimore also participated in the panel discussion. Presenters focused on the efficacy of the PTFA and made the case for why the law must be extended past its current December 31, 2014 sunset date. While some states have protections for renters living in foreclosed properties, many do not, and ensuring a base level of federal protection is key to ensuring uniform rights for renters across the country.
Mr. Ellison attended the briefing and said in his remarks, “I led efforts to enact the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act in 2009. It has worked very well ever since. Firms are complying with the law and letting tenants have at least 90 days or until the end of the lease. Last year, the Minnesota Legislature made these protections permanent. These changes were not controversial. Neither banks nor foreclosing attorneys tried to stop the state from acting. Why? Because all of the actors have adopted new systems to comply with the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. They are comfortable with it… The law has succeeded in more fairly balancing the interests, succeeded in protecting the most innocent of victims in foreclosure situations, and has not placed inordinate burden on financial institutions or foreclosing attorneys.”
NLIHC urges advocates to contact their congressional delegation and ask them to cosponsor S. 1761 and H.R. 3543.