Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure Act: Collection Of Cases

The following court cases, collected by the National Housing Law Project, may be of some guidance to those representing tenants in enforcing their rights under the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act:

  • Bank of N.Y. Mellon v. De Meo, 254 P.3d 1138 (Ariz. App. 2011)

    In a case of first impression, the appellate court held that the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act requires post-foreclosure owners to serve a tenant with an unambiguous 90-day written notice before it may move forward with an eviction action.

    Bank of Am. N.A. v. Owens, 903 N.Y.S.2d 667 (City Ct. 2010)

    A post-foreclosure owner may not require tenants to prove bona fide tenancy within five days to avoid its obligation to provide 90-day notice under the PTFA. If the owner has not provided the required 90-day notice, the burden is then on the owner to demonstrate that a property resident is not a bona fide tenant.

    Southland Home Mortg. v. Valle (In re Valle), No. 10-15196, 2011 WL 722388 (Bankr. S.D. Cal. Feb. 16, 2011)

    In this case, the bankruptcy court denied the bank's motion for relief from the automatic stay because the tenant's lease remained valid under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act.

    RWW Properties v. Stepanoff, No. N10-0072 (Cal. Super. Ct. App. Div. May 25, 2010)

    The decision of a California Superior Court judge who allowed a tenant to be evicted after only 30 days notice after foreclosure on the basis that the PTFA only applied to federally related mortgages was reversed on appeal.

    Alta Cmty. Invs. III v. Ottoboni, No. 1370195 (Cal. Super. Ct. July 29, 2010)

    In this tentative ruling, an eviction based on a 3/30/60/90 day was dismissed for failing to give proper notice. The court ruled that the notice is equivocal/ambiguous and thus was not effective to terminate the tenancy.

    E Trade Bank v. Salter, No. 1372298 (Cal. Super. Ct. Jan. 20, 2011)

    In this tentative ruling, the court dismissed the eviction based on a 3/60/90 day notice because the notice required any tenants to provide proof of tenancy within three days. The court held the notice to be equivocal because the notice period would vary depending on what steps an occupant takes in response to the notice.

    PD Realty, LLC v. Azevedo, No. 11H84SP000071, 2011 WL 481489 (Mass. Hous. Ct. Feb. 3, 2011)

    In this case, the court held that a tenant occupying an illegal unit may still be a bona fide tenant under the PTFA.

    Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n v. Vidal, No. 11H84SP004364, 2012 WL 597929 (Mass. Hous. Ct. Feb 17, 2012)

    In this decision, the court found that Fannie Mae must serve bona fide tenants a 90-day notice under the PTFA, even if the eviction is based on non-payment of rent (which required only a 14-day notice under state law).

    PNMAC Mortg. v. Stanko, No. 11U04495, 2012 WL 845508 (Cal. Super. Ct. Mar. 7, 2012)

    In this case, the court granted the Delta motion and found that the bank must serve bona fide tenants a 90-day notice under the PTFA, even if the eviction is based on non-payment of rent (which required only a 3-day notice under state law).

    Fed. Nat'l Mortgage Assoc. v. Dobson, No. 10-CVG-02140 (Ohio Mun. Ct. Mar. 1, 2010)

    Unless proven otherwise, an existing tenant is presumed to be a bona fide tenant protected under the PTFA.

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