Posts Tagged ‘renters’

Collateral Damage

Renters Beware

 There is a new wave of victims in the mortgage crisis these days, a quiet group that doesn’t get much attention, but victims none the less.  Renters across the country have been put on the streets with sometimes no more than a couple of weeks notice due to the foreclosure crisis.  In some cases the property owners fail to pay HOA fees leading to the shut off of utilities if that property is a condominium or town home. Many times the security deposit and last month’s rent are not returned leaving the renter without necessary funds to secure new housing.  This group that is usually already financially strapped and barely scraping by is left in crisis mode and without recourse. 

 Information from the California Tenants Together site states that  President Obama in May of 2009 signed a bill as part of the  Helping Families Save Their Homes Act  protecting renters from the quick evict process that has been the norm in foreclosures.  Previously the lease did not survive the foreclosure and renters were given only days in some cases post auction to move or face eviction.  Now the law states that a lease survives auction and must be honored and those without a lease are given up to 90 days to find suitable housing.  The law signed in May of 2009 extends until 2012 at this time.

 Many banks are offering “keys for cash” from renters knowing that a vacant property is easier to sell than a tenant occupied.  This can be a good deal if the offer is adequate for the renter to pay upfront costs associated with the move and securing new housing.  Unfortunately in most cases the offer is close to $1000 dollars which in many cases does not cover out of pocket expenses. 

 This growing group of victims otherwise known as collateral damage from the foreclosure crisis was one that I had not been made aware of until I received a call from my daughter telling me her water may get cut off from nonpayment of HOA fees and potential eviction from foreclosure on her rented condo.  My daughter pays her rent on time and was enjoying the convenience of living near her work.  Now she faces more financial upset in an already insecure entry level work environment.  At least now we know she will have 90 days to vacate should the property be sold at auction.


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