Senator Al Franken (D-MN) cosponsored S. 1761, the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, on February 10. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) is the only federal protection for renters living in foreclosed properties and assures most tenants have the right to at least 90 days’ notice before being required to move after a foreclosure. S. 1761 would remove the PTFA's December 31, 2014 sunset date and would add a private right of action to the law. Introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), S. 1761 now has five co-sponsors and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
The House version of the bill, H.R. 3543, introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), has 21 co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. The most recent co-sponsors are Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and John Sarbanes (D-MD).
In other PTFA news, two PTFA-related court cases, Mik. v. Freddie Mac and Nativi v. Deutsche Bank, have been resolved in favor of tenants who asserted their rights had been violated under the PTFA. In the case of Mik v. Freddie Mac, tenants Paul and Lee Ann Mik argued they were "unlawfully evicted from their rental home after their landlord defaulted on her mortgages and the property was sold at a foreclosure auction." While initially the Miks’ complaint asserting claims under the PTFA was dismissed due to the PTFA's lack of a private right of action, the tenants prevailed on appeal on February 7. The court said in its opinion that while the PTFA does not have a private right of action, tenants may use state law claims to enforce the federal PTFA. An amicus brief was co-filed by the National Housing Law Project, the Public Justice Center, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, and NLIHC (see Memo, 12/7/12).
On January 23, it was held in the case of Nativi v. Deutsche Bank that bona fide leases survive foreclosure under the PTFA, tenants in illegally converted garage units are protected under the PTFA, and state law claims may be brought to enforce the PTFA. The lawsuit was filed when Rosario Nativi and her son Jose Perez were evicted from their apartment after Deutsche Bank became the owner of the property through foreclosure. NLIHC co-filed an amicus brief on this case with the National Housing Law Project, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, AARP, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the California Reinvestment Coalition (see Memo, 11/16/12).