Last week, we wrote about a mortgage debt law that will expire at the end of this month unless Congress takes action to extend it. Today, we will discuss another federal housing law that is dangerously near expiration, and could potentially put thousands of Georgia renters at a serious risk of eviction and similar financial harm if it is allowed to expire.
Thankfully, the latter law - the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, or PTFA - is not scheduled to expire until the end of 2014. However, foreclosure victims' advocates are already hard at work alerting the media of the pending expiration and working with lawmakers to make sure that does not happen. With the number of renters on the rise in Atlanta and most other major metropolitan areas, advocates say that extending the law is imperative.
Under the PTFA, renters whose houses go into foreclosure have a right to remain in their homes until their lease ends, or for at least 90 days if they do not have a lease. Advocates say that the law ensures that renters will not become homeless due to their landlord's inability to pay his or her mortgage. Perhaps most importantly, they saw, the federal legislation makes up for an inconsistent, incomplete patchwork of state laws that do little to protect renters from homelessness.
In fact, many renters are still not aware of the protections offered to them under the PFTA, leaving them at risk of homelessness and other harmful effects of foreclosure. We will discuss that further in our next blog post.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Renters At Risk In Foreclosure Crisis Rely On Short-Term Federal Law," Lucia Graves, Dec. 17, 2012