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Mortgage Lenders Trying to Trick Renters of Foreclosed Homes With Illegal Eviction Notices

September 7, 2009

As Azusa loan modification attorneys, we were disgusted but not surprised recently to see evidence that some mortgage lenders are willing to break the law to evict renters whose landlords have gone into foreclosure. An Aug. 28 blog post on ForeclosureBuzz.org, written by an employee of the nonprofit Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, says that at least some renters have received a letter that appears to evict them because of the landlord's foreclosure. The only trouble for the lender is that this is illegal under a new federal law, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009. Under that law, tenants have the right to 90 days' notice or more before they're evicted, unless the new owner wants to live in the home.

A letter (PDF) posted by the ForeclosureBuzz blog suggests otherwise. The author scanned in an actual letter sent by a law firm to a home in an Austin, Texas suburb. The letter demands that the tenants vacate within three days of receiving the notice. If they do not, it says, the law firm that sent the letter will sue the tenant for eviction within 10 days. These provisions are in addition to large type appearing on the cover page warning tenants that the law firm is a debt collector, and that any information the tenant provides will be used to collect that debt. The letter does eventually mention the tenants' rights under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, but only near the end and in small type. Furthermore, it falsely says tenants must show evidence of their tenancy within 10 days of receiving the notice or face a lawsuit for eviction.

Of course, people who buy properties at auction don't necessarily know whether the people occupying the homes are tenants or the foreclosed owners themselves. But as the ForeclosureBuzz blogger points out, letters like these should clearly spell out that tenants and former owners have different rights. As things stand, our Rosemead loan modification attorneys believe this letter may have been intentionally designed to trick renters into vacating the property. The average non-lawyer is simply not equipped to sort through the legalese, contradictory information and small type that appears in this letter. Someone without the patience or legal knowledge to correctly interpret the letter could easily be panicked into spending unnecessary time and money avoiding the threat of an eviction that would not be legal.

Howard Law LLP represents clients who are trying to avoid the threat of foreclosure and eviction by fighting for a real, sustainable loan modification. Over the months of the foreclosure crisis, we've helped hundreds of California homeowners fight back against lenders that won't answer phone calls, continually lose paperwork or incorrectly and illegally deny loan modifications. Our Valencia loan modification attorneys can get lenders' attention even when our clients have been unsuccessful because we know our clients' rights -- and we are more than happy to file a lawsuit if we have evidence that those rights have been violated. We work hard to leave clients with loan modifications that actually lower their payments, so they can stay in their homes for good.

If your lender won't respond or treat you fairly when you request a loan modification, you should call Howard Law as soon as possible. You can learn more about your options at a free, confidential consultation by calling us at 1-800-872-5925 or contacting us through our Web site.