Benchmark Institute is a training and performance development
organization dedicated to increasing the quality and quantity of
legal services to low-income communities.
ACORN Housing Help
Outside of California, renters should call ACORN. They consider
rent-to-owners, first time homebuyers, and will help anyone get to the
right place for help.
Foreclosure Hotline for Tenants - 415.495.8012.
California's Statewide Organization for Renters' Rights, has a new
hotline for tenants in foreclosure situations. While foreclosures
extinguish most leases, California tenants are generally entitled to a
60-day notice to vacate in foreclosure situations. The 60-day notice
requirement became law in July
2008, but many owners still do not comply with it. In cities with local
"just cause" eviction protections, such as Los Angeles, Santa Monica,
Oakland and San Francisco, most tenants are not legally required to move
as a result of a foreclosure, but many owners ignore this limitation and
seek to evict anyway.
Hotline volunteers will assist in many ways, including helping tenants:
• Find out if a particular rental property is in foreclosure
• Identify the new owner after a foreclosure sale agencies and officials
• Stand up to abusive and unfair conduct during the foreclosure process
Foreclosure to Homelessness 2009: the Forgotten Victims of the Subprime
Crisis (June 26, 2009)
This survey “makes clear that foreclosures are a major factor in the
increase of homelessness in the United States,”
National Low Income
Housing Coalition (NLIHC) President Shelia Crowley said.
Key findings include that those experiencing homelessness due to
• tended to be renters, not owners;
• whether renters or owners, did not seek legal advice in foreclosure
• most often stayed with family or friends or in emergency shelters.
Renter Alert allows renters to research properties
they’re thinking about renting and to monitor properties they’re already
renting. Users may check status of property online at any time, receive
monthly e-mail updates on property’s foreclosure status, Immediate
when property is in foreclosure …
for $24.95 per year.
Foreclosure Toolkit – Download this Toolkit NOW!
The provisions of Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 went
into effect immediately and are self-executing, so no federal agency
(such as HUD) is responsible for making them work. It is up to tenants
and advocates to make sure that tenants, landlords, public housing
authorities, courts, the legal community, and others involved in the
foreclosure process are aware of these new tenant rights.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the National Housing Law
Project have put together the Renters in Foreclosure Toolkit with great
materials that you can easily adapt including sample letters to tenants,
judges and PHAs.
Webinar and Webinar Slides are available
contains materials for loan servicers, attorneys and others in the
mortgage industry. For example, its requirements for Eviction Halt
Extension, Announcement 09/05 are
A new Web resource that provides information on policy solutions related
to foreclosure prevention and neighborhood stabilization. It also
includes strategies for preventing and responding to foreclosures,
interactive online discussions, and tools that allow users to create
customized data reports and maps to identify areas in which to target
resources and efforts. See sections on
Help Owner and Renter Families Recover and
Protect Renters Living in Foreclosed Properties.
National Low Income Housing Coalition — Special Topic: Renters in
An up-to-date resource list on renters and lower income families in
foreclosure. Includes News and Research by State — summaries and
links for articles, non-print media, and research publications that show
the impact of the foreclosure crisis on renters and the implications for
homelessness; federal legislation; and Congressional testimonies.
contains a national data base where tenants from can find out
whether the property owner is in foreclosure. The site owners have
worked in the real estate industry started the web site because they
“saw first hand the devastating effects on renters when the landlords
could no longer afford the mortgage”.
Renters Need Protection against Foreclosure Too
This article suggests that Congress should fund community-based
organizations to help families facing eviction because of foreclosure
by: providing relocation assistance for first month’s rent, security
deposit, and costs associated with moving; connecting renters to
community-based organizations that can help them search for new housing,
negotiate with landlords, and access community services in their new
neighborhood; and providing school transportation assistance to families
that have to move in the middle of a school year and do not want to
California Unlawful Detainer Defense Training 2008 -
Institute On November 26, 2008, PLI sponsored a 3 hour program on
defending tenants who are being evicted from foreclosed property:
• Unlawful Detainer Practice Basics [01:08:11]
• Foreclosures and Unfair Detainer Defense - Key Issues [01:01:35]
• Illegal Lock-Outs and Foreclosure [01:00]
You must be a PLI member before viewing free programs. Hit
and create an online account. Then enter program title and you’re good
Helping Low-Income Tenants Avoid Post-Foreclosure Evictions
2, 2008, the Editorial Team of
Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty
Law and Policy sponsored a
webinar on how to help renters living in
properties subject to foreclosure. Judith Liben, Massachusetts Law
Reform Institute, talks about strategies that legal services programs
are pursuing in Massachusetts, Maeve Elise Brown, Housing and Economic
Rights Advocates, gives a broad overview of strategies in California and
Esme Caramello, Harvard Law School's WilmerHale Legal Services Center
discusses § 8 tenant practice in Massachusetts.
Listen to the three presentations; download the Power Points and
WCLP Foreclosure-Based Eviction Packet for Advocates (February 2008)
Western Center on Law & Poverty discusses defenses for tenants living in
foreclosed properties at www.wclp.org/taskforce/fem.pdf. For sample
supporting points and authorities, go to
These documents are intended for LSC- and IOLTA-funded and nonprofit
housing organizations only.