Foreclosed Property Renters Facing Homelessness

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) released two reports today about the increasing homelessness of renters in foreclosed properties. They have compiled data on all 50 states and DC and found that 40% of all families facing foreclosure due to eviction are renters.

They point out that state laws vary greatly and are complex when it comes to renters and foreclosures. Renters have little protection and may be evicted with little or no notice, if a landlord loses the renter’s home.

Among major findings of Without Just Cause, a 110-page report prepared by NLCHP in collaboration with the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) are:

* Only 33% of States (17 States) require any type of notice to tenants.
* Only 29% of States (14 and DC) require a judicial process for foreclosure.
* In several states (e.g. FL, IO, WI, NY, OH) tenants may remain only if they are not named in the foreclosure proceeding.
* Only 2% of States (NJ and DC) explicitly preserve tenants’ rights in the lease after foreclosure.

The second report, An Ounce of Prevention, highlights homelessness prevention programs in 25 states.

In Michigan, the Without Just Cause report states:

Eviction Process
Notice must be provided, “Notice to Quit / Termination of Tenancy”, giving tenant 30 days to vacate. Tenant is then entitled to a hearing; if tenant does not vacate at end of 30 days, tenant must be served with summons and complaint. If the landlord prevails at the hearing, then the tenant must move within 10 days. If the tenant does not move, a writ of restitution can be issued, which provides for immediate physical eviction (no notice).

Eviction Timeframe
4-6 weeks from date tenant receives Notice to Quit to day sheriff physical evicts tenants.

In addition, State Senator Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) has introduced a bill that would stop all mortgage foreclosures and evictions for 2 years. Please contact your elected representatives to safeguard the homes of renters and homeowners!

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