Lender's Continued Efforts In Foreclosure Eviction Forces Renter File Lawsuit To Enforce Federal Tenant Protection Law
In Roseville, California, KXTV-TV Channel 10 reports:
- A tenant living in a bank-owned home says the bank is trying to force her family to leave despite a federal law protecting renters in foreclosed homes. Christine Pierce, 29, said OneWest Bank has made multiple attempts through its real estate agent and law firm to get her and her husband and their three-year-old son to move out even though they had a two-year lease with the former owner through July 2011.
- Pierce sought help from California Sen. Barbara Boxer, whose staff appeared to have stopped eviction proceedings. Boxer's office forwarded Pierce a letter dated July 8 from the U.S. Treasury's Office of Thrift Supervision. "OneWest advised us that after commencing the eviction proceedings, it obtained a copy of the lease between Ms. Pierce and the former landlord. In compliance with the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, OneWest will comply with the lease and terminate the current eviction attempts," the letter from OTS
- But three weeks later, on July 30, an eviction notice appeared on the front door signed by an attorney from the Endres Law Firm in Davis. News10 attempted to speak to a representative from the law firm by telephone. "We have no comment. Thank you," an unidentified woman said before hanging up.
- A spokeswoman for OneWest Bank told News10 she would research the case. [...] Pierce hired Sacramento attorney Carla Johansen to block the eviction. Johansen said the Pierce case is not uncommon. "Lenders have been actively lying to tenants about what their rights are as far as being evicted after a foreclosure," she
For the story, see Roseville tenant: Bank ignoring foreclosure law.
(1) The Federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 provides important federal protections for tenants in foreclosed properties, including the right to receive 90 days' notice before being required to leave the property and, in many cases, the right to remain for the length of the tenant's existing lease term. The law's expiration date has been extended and is now set to expire on December 31, 2014.
- Staying Home: The Rights of Renters Living in Foreclosed Properties,
- Action Guide for California Tenants in Foreclosure Situations (contains links to sample letters).
(2) Reportedly, Pierce said she was threatened with eviction by the bank's real estate agent unless she accepted a $5,000 "cash for keys" offer to move out after the house was repossessed in May. Pierce said they were given 15 days to move, which she found unacceptable, the story states. Pierce provided News10 with a copy of the agent's email. "As of right now you do not have an eviction on your record. If you agree to move ... then the eviction would be put on hold," the agent said. "It's threatening," Pierce reportedly said. "They wanted us out of the house and that was that. I called them and said I had a lease that was good until next year and they said it didn't matter."