By David Bauerlein - Jacksonville.com - Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2009
Two weeks after Brooks Mitchell moved into a condominium he leased on Jacksonville's Southside, he answered a knock on the door and was shocked to find a process server delivering legal papers.
A bank had just filed a foreclosure lawsuit against the condominium's owner. Mitchell had signed a one-year lease, but the potential for foreclosure meant he faced the possibility a bank would take ownership of the property halfway through the lease and evict him.
"It floored me," he said. "I felt burned. Nobody is looking out for the renter."
Mitchell got the legal notification in April, joining other renters who had learned they're not immune from the foreclosure crisis.
But a federal housing law signed by President Barack Obama in May gives him and other renters some protection when property-owners go into foreclosure. If a bank forecloses on any dwelling and wants the resident to leave, the bank must give at least 90 days notice. Moreover, if the tenant had a lease at the time of the foreclosure, the bank must honor the length of the lease.
Those provisions are much stronger than Florida law, which previously gave banks that took possession of property through foreclosure the right to order the removal of tenants in 24 hours. Renters who balked faced eviction notices.
Read the rest of the story:
A little more protection for renters