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Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure Act (PTFA) expired on December 31, 2014 ...what now?

What was PTFA?

What happens to a tenant who is living in a house that is foreclosed.  Before the passage of PTFA in 2009, the answer was "cut and run"  Now with the protections of the Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure Act (PTFA) tenants who are in good standing and not related to the foreclosed owner  can stay as tenants under the new owner for the duration of the lease period or on a month-to-month basis (subject to a mandatory 90 day notice to terminate).

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA)
Passed by Congress in 2009 and extended in 2010, the PTFA provides that the purchaser of a foreclosed property must recognize the existing lease of a tenant living in that property or provide a new month to month rental agreement that can only be terminated by a 90 days notice.

As a practical matter tenants living in a unit that is under foreclosure should let the purchaser know that they have rights to stay in the unit after the new owner takes title.

PTFA can be raised as a defense against an eviction if a foreclosure purchaser tried to evict a tenant living in a foreclosed house, but not all courts are aware of these provisions.  Tenants who are entitled to PTFA protections should get legal advise before presenting a PTFA defense.
  What now?
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition continues to seek new Congressional authority for tenants in foreclosure.
  • States and localities are adoption local PTFA protections..
  • A key fact before Ohio Advocates can move forward is:  Is there still a need to protect tenants from foreclosure?

What is the News
2/7/14:  RHINO has learned that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to honor PTFA protections (nothing in writing).
Tenants in Rhode Island have won some protection from their State Government while Federal action is stalled.   PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Senate voted 33 to 0 Wednesday to pass a bill that would prevent banks from evicting people who live in foreclosed homes until the house has been sold to a new owner.   “Under existing law, tenants living in houses that are foreclosed have only 90 days before the foreclosing lender can evict them without cause,” he told his colleagues. But the bill “would prevent banks from evicting families until” the house is sold “to new owners, and the new owner must be a non-financial institution.” 
Thanks to People's Coalition for Equality and Justice for sharing this info.  You can find them at:

3/21/14 More co sponsors sought! Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) cosponsored H.R. 3543, the Permanently Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, on March 5. The measure, introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), now has 24 co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. The Senate companion bill sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), S. 1761, has five co-sponsors and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) is the only federal protecting for renters living in foreclosed properties, and affords these renters the right to at least 90 days’ notice before being required to move after a foreclosure. If the law is not extended by Congress it will expire on December 31, 2014. Both H.R. 3543 and S. 1761 would remove the sunset date entirely, making the law permanent. The bills would also add a private right of action to the law.

New co sponsors, good court decisions on PTFA (protection of tenants at foreclosure act)
The extension of PTFA is an important issue because foreclosures will continue beyond the sunset date of the current legislation. Here's some news

Update on PTFA extension from National Low Income Housing Coalition
Legislation was introduced recently in the House (H.R. 3543) and Senate (S. 1761) to make permanent the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), which sunsets on December 31, 2014, and to add a private right of action to the law. Making the federal law permanent is a top policy priority of NLIHC in 2014 (see Memo, 11/22).
The Senate bill, introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) as co-sponsors, gained Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) as another cosponsor on December 12. On the House side, Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) cosponsored H.R. 3543 on December 16 becoming the 19th cosponsor of the bill introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN).
Watch for notices of a congressional briefing on the importance of making the PTFA permanent early in 2014.  more on PTFA

Notes & Links

Spencer Wells,
May 17, 2014, 6:28 PM
Spencer Wells,
May 17, 2014, 6:30 PM