The California based non-profit organization Tenants Together put out a very interesting report this week talking about some of the least publicized victims of the foreclosure process – tenants.

In many cases, tenants whose landlord end up in foreclosure are wrongfully harassed and sometimes even evicted, despite recent legislation passed aimed at protecting tenants.

The report talks about some of the changes that have been made to protect tenants in foreclosure (although many of them aren’t being followed), then goes on to give some frightening statistics, and some very good suggestions about what to do in order to protect tenants once the bank becomes their landlord.

Here are some of the stats & suggestions that really caught my eye:

Stats:

  • At least 37% of foreclosures in California are rental properties.
  • More than 200,000 tenants in California were affected by foreclosures in 2009 alone.
  • From 2008-2009 there was a 70% increase in foreclosures of apartment buildings with 5 units or more.

Suggestions:

  • Enforcement agencies must step up efforts to enforce tenant protection laws, and hold banks accountable for breaking those rules.
  • California Counties should notify tenants when a notice of default is filed.
  • Laws should be enacted to ensure that innocent tenants don’t harm their credit scored with involuntary evictions.

Read the full report here.

Conclusion:

Renters are innocent victims of the foreclosure process. Horror stories of banks hiring lawyers and real estate agents to harass & threaten renters who have been living in homes that are foreclosed on are heartbreaking. The thought that many of these people hurt their credit and some even end up homeless, despite the fact that they have never missed a payment and never got themselves in over their head financially is even more so. Something needs to be done to combat this problem and enforce the laws to the banks who unjustly treat these tenants unfairly.

Jon Maddux

CEO

YouWalkAway.com

Jon D. Maddux is the former CEO of YouWalkAway.com. Although there has been a bit of controversy with the company name, the entrepreneur passionately believed that homeowners across America would desperately need foreclosure advice and so he came up with the Walk Away foreclosure help website. Having over 11 years of real estate and finance experience, Maddux realized with the burgeoning credit crisis, many homeowners in adjustable rate mortgages and high LTV loans were unaware of what they were about to face. With that understanding, Maddux developed an affordable business model that allowed homeowners to know their rights and use the law to their advantage. Beyond the monthly foreclosure monitoring service and cease and desist letters, You Walk Away provides attorney consultation in each state and CPA consultations. Homeowners are armed with the knowledge and peace of mind they need to go through possibly the toughest experience of their lives.

Since January 2008, You Walk Away, LLC has helped over 8000 customers navigate through the hardship of foreclosure and / or a short sale. You Walk Away has been featured in news publications and TV programs such as: ABC Nightline, CNN,Yahoo Finance, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, front page of The New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, Fortune,Money Magazine, NPR, AP, NBC, CBS and Fox News among many others. Many of these publications have used quotes from Maddux about foreclosure, short sales and mortgages as well as obtaining a mortgage after foreclosure or short sale.

More recently Jon has launched http://www.afterforeclosure.com, a free website that helps people find out if they are eligible for a new mortgage after foreclosure or short sale. There are free resources available on the site to help consumers get back into homeownership. At http://www.afterforeclosure.com and now https://www.loansafe.org, Maddux writes about foreclosure, short sales and getting new financing after foreclosure or short sale. Jon specializes in hard to get Jumbo mortgages after foreclosure and short sale. As you can imagine, with helping thousands of customers go through this process, there is special insight and first-hand knowledge that he gets and is able to share with his readers. Jon Maddux is a licensed mortgage professional focusing on helping people that have gone through foreclosure or short sale buy again with better market timing.