Congress Permanently Authorizes the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

President Trump signed into law a permanent extension of the “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act” (PTFA) on May 24. The PTFA was included in a larger deregulation bill (S. 2155) passed by the House on May 22. The PTFA, which expired at the end of 2014, enables renters whose homes were in foreclosure to remain in their homes for at least 90 days or for the term of their lease, whichever is greater. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) had earlier introduced legislation (S. 325/HR 915) to permanently extend the PTFA. Making the PTFA permanent has long been an NLIHC policy priority.

The PTFA, enacted in 2009, was the only federal protection for renters living in foreclosed properties. During the financial crisis, inappropriate lending, falling home prices, and high unemployment led to a high number of foreclosures across the U.S. The impact of these foreclosures was not limited to homeowners, however; renters lose their homes every day when the owner of the home they are renting goes into foreclosure. Unlike homeowners who have some indication that a foreclosure is coming, renters are often caught entirely off guard.

The PTFA provides most renters with the right to at least to 90 days’ notice before being required to move after a foreclosure. Before the permanent extension, renters, who often have no idea that their landlords are behind on mortgage payments, could be evicted with just a few days’ notice in most states.

Under PTFA, tenants with Section 8 housing choice voucher assistance have additional protections allowing them to retain their Section 8 lease and requiring the successor-in-interest to assume the housing assistance payment contract associated with that lease.

The PTFA applies to all foreclosures on all residential properties; traditional one-unit single family homes are covered, as are multi-unit properties. The law applies in cases of both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures. Tenants with lease rights of any kind, including month-to-month leases or leases terminable at will, are protected as long as the tenancy is in effect as of the date of transfer of title at foreclosure.

The PTFA applies in all states but does not override more protective state laws.

For more information about the PTFA, see: