The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission on Monday issued a warning to landlords to “stop illegal evictions” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The statement was issued as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended its eviction moratorium, banning landlords from kicking tenants out for being unable to make their rental payments.
“Staff at both agencies will be monitoring and investigating eviction practices, particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction management services, and private equity firms, to ensure that they are complying with the law,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio and FTC Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter said.
“Evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or evicting or threatening to evict them without apprising them of their legal rights under such moratoria, may violate prohibitions against deceptive and unfair practices, including under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. We will not tolerate illegal practices that displace families and expose them—and by extension all of us—to grave health risks.”
The CFPB released a report earlier this month that found millions of Americans face foreclosure and eviction from their homes once housing pandemic protections come to an end. The CFPB found that nearly 11 million families are behind on rent or mortgage payments, with 8.8 million behind on rent and 2.1 million behind on their mortgages. That accounts for nearly $90 billion in missed mortgage payments.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said. “Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of Covid-19.”