Foreclosure Article


WHAT IF I RENT A HOUSE THAT'S IN FORECLOSURE - The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

 The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

This law expired on December 31, 2014

 

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: The Federal Law, Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, expired and is no longer valid as of December 31, 2014. While there were some attempts in the House to revive this law in 2015 none have been successful. Arizona State Law, A.R.S § 33-1331, gives tenants of foreclosed properties some limited protections; information about these protections can be found in this article. This article remains on AZLawHelp.org purely for historical value for those interested in how the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act operated from 2009 through 2014.

There are legal protections for tenants renting a house that is in or goes into foreclosure. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) was passed by Congress signed into law by the President Obama in 2009; subsequently the law was extended in 2010. The PTFA expired on December 31, 2014. The PTFA, depending on the facts in a particular situation, requires that renters in foreclosed homes be allowed to stay or given sufficient notice under the law.

  

Who qualifies for protection under the PTFA?

The tenant protection provisions apply in the case of any foreclosure on a “federally related mortgage loan” or on any dwelling or residential real property. The tenant must also be “bona fide.” A lease or tenancy is “bona fide” only if:

  1. The mortgagor or a child, spouse, or parent of the mortgagor under the contract is not the tenant;

  2. The lease or tenancy was the product of an arm’s-length transaction; and

  3. The lease or tenancy requires the receipt of rent that is not substantially less than fair market rent or the rent is reduced or subsidized due to a federal, state, or local subsidy.

In other words the lease must be made with another person and not with oneself and the rent payments must be a fair amount for the property that is not supplemented by the government.

  

When do renters in foreclosed homes get to stay and when do they have to leave?

Renters Get to Stay IF:

Renters get to stay for the duration of the lease, if all of the following requirements are met:

  1. There is a valid lease (not the end of the lease term),

  2. The lease was signed before receiving notice of foreclosure (whether judicial foreclosure or trustee sale), and

  3. The new owner does not intend to occupy the property as a primary residence.

Renters Cannot Stay But Must Be Given Notice IF:

In most other situations, the renters will have to leave, once the foreclosure is complete, and upon receiving 90 days notice from the new owner. The common situations where a renter will have to vacate after the foreclosure upon receiving notice are:

  • Renters must vacate if there is a valid lease and they had notice of foreclosure before signing the lease; or

  • Renters must vacate if there is a valid lease, and even if there was no notice of foreclosure but the new owner intends to occupy the property as a primary residence; or

  • Renters must vacate if there is no valid lease, including where a lease expires and the renter is paying month-to-month. 

Why does the law end December 31, 2014?

The law has what is called a sunset provision, meaning it has an expiration date. The original date was extended in the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”, so that the law will be repealed on December 31. 2014. When laws are written, the legislative body writing the law may set a date of when that law will end, referred to as a “sunset” clause or provision (Note: Not all laws have sunset provisions, it is not required). The PTFA is a federal law, Congress would have to authorize and extension or make the law permanent and the President would have to sign it into law.

 

 

Source:  See 12 U.S.C. 5220 or search the US Code online with the US House of Representatives website. For additional information see the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.


Comments:

QUESTIONS

  • I recently returned home from a 3 year prison sentence. The home i own was vacant and went into foreclosure. The mortgage company changed the locks, however i still own the home and plan on refinancing and keeping it. Am i allowed back into the house now, to live there since i still legally own it?
  • AZ dept of Housing sent us to you to file a complaint against Bank and Mortgage Company (Proper business names redacted).  How do we mail or email our five page complaint to you? (Personal information redacted)
  • My home was in the middle of probate when they sold it so prior to bank sold it to company and because there wasn't somebody legally responsible for the loan hence I had to probate it before anybody at company would discuss it with me, and they granted me executorship a week after the sale. I then had a stroke and was in hospital, court papers scheduled in a few days to go to court. I want to keep my house of 17years what can I do? Please help fast. I am a widower of a vet and on disability as well.
  • The house we rent is in foreclosure. Are we obligated to stay in the house for the 90 days allowed or can we move as soon as we find a new place to live? Can the landlord hold us to the terms of the lease even though the house is in foreclosure now? Can he take us to court if we move out prior to the end of the lease?
  • We are currently renting a home that is being foreclosed on. A realtor is telling me to allow him to put a safe lock on the door and show the home. What are my rights? He claims to work for the trustee.
  • what assistance is available to me I was 12 months behind caught up on six in September and they started foreclosure this month sell date is Feb of 2015 I thought they were working with me and no notice foreclosure.? my husband was on unemployment for over 4 years and recently is now working and we are able to catch up and stay on track.
  • My home was sold at a foreclosure auction on 11/22/16. I have never been served a 3 day notice by the new owners just a Summons and Complaint. They want me out of the property and want to charge me an outstanding amount of money and I cannot afford to pay it. They are trying to get a default and judgment against me and I am living in the house with my 8 year old granddaughter. I work 4 days a week and need time to secure another place for us to live. These people are very unreasonable and want me out. I have lived there for 23 years and am having alot of anxiety over this. HELP
  • I relocated to AZ and still have a house in Nevada. I can no longer make both house payments and am considering letting my house in NV foreclosing or short sale. Not sure what tax liabilities or other repercussions may he entailed.
  • Does the anti-deficiency statute cover for a an 80/20 loan where the 1st mortgage was refinanced (no cash out)under HARP 2.0? Refinanced only for lower interest rate/payment.
  • what is the time line for eviction. does it ever go thru a court before the sheriff comes knocking? I still have the title to the land, the warranty deed.

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