Tenants are innocent victims of the mortgage meltdown. Banks are evicting tenants after foreclosure for no good reason. Some cities are taking action, passing eviction protection laws at the local level to stop this unnecessary and unfair displacement of tenants.
Tenants Together has been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness about this problem and to find solutions.
Tenants Together has identified the need to protect tenants in
foreclosed properties as a priority issue since the organization formed. Starting in November 2007, our director sounded an alarm about the need to protect tenants in foreclosure. Read the article here.
This was long before most in the media or legislature were paying
attention to the plight of renters in foreclosed properties.
Tenants Together has release four annual reports on the plight of California renters in foreclosed properties. These reports have influenced media coverage, legislation, and outreach efforts. The reports are listed below:
We operate California's only hotline exclusively for tenants in foreclosure situations. Tenants can reach the Tenant Foreclosure Hotline at 888-495-8020. Through the hotline, we have assisted more than 8,000 California tenants.
In May 2009, we released a proposal urging banks to continue renting to tenants after foreclosure. Several financial institutions have improved their policies as a result of tenant advocacy, but most still mistreat tenants after foreclosure.
Tenants Together is working with allies in communities across the state to protect renters in foreclosure situations through organizing, eduction and advocacy.
Tenants Together monitors and reports on recent developments, such as the 2009 federal law that provides some protections for renters after foreclosure. We are actively spreading the word about this law to make sure tenants get the protections they are entitled to.
Tenants Together led a coalition of over 20 nonprofits that convinced California's then-Attorney General, now Governor, Jerry Brown to launch a formal investigation into violations of tenant rights by banks and eviction lawyers. Tenants Together also worked closely with Attorney General Kamala Harris to pass a landmark tenant protection law that takes effect in January 2013.
Tenants Together has successfully advocated for state and local laws to stop unfair displacement of tenants after foreclosure. We passed an anti-eviction law in Ridgecrest (2009) and Merced (2011). We sponsored AB 1953 (Ammiano) to stop unfair evictions after ownership changes. We mobilized our members to support key state bills to protect tenants after foreclosure, including AB 1149 (Corbett) which ensures that tenants who fight illegal evictions will not have their credit history ruined.
Tenants Together has notified thousands of tenants of their rights through door to door outreach, mailing, public services announcements, community meetings and other methods.
Tenants Together has trained hundreds of attorneys and counselors on the fine points of assisting tenants in this context.
Tenants Together has partnered with the California Reinvestment
Coalition to help tenants who are being harassed and misled by banks to
file complaints with the federal bank regulator -- Office of
Comptroller of Currency. Click here to file complaint.
Listed below are some fact sheets for tenants in foreclosure situations, as well as other information of interest on this issue.