The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday moved to beef up the federal eviction moratorium by requiring debt collectors to provide written notice to renters of their rights – and bars debt collectors from misrepresenting tenants’ protection from eviction.
The Centers for Disease Control issued the eviction moratorium in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19 during the pandemic. Debt collectors who evict tenants could be prosecuted and be exposed to lawsuits by those they evicted, the CFPB said.
“With COVID-19 killing hundreds of Americans every day, kicking families out into the street during this pandemic may literally be a death sentence,” CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio said. “No one should be evicted from their home without understanding their rights, and we will hold accountable those debt collectors who move forward with illegal evictions. We encourage debt collectors to work with tenants and landlords to find solutions that work for everyone.”
The CFPB says nearly 9 million households are behind on rent and tens of thousands of renters are being evicted every week, often without being told of their rights under the CDC moratorium.
The CDC moratorium is in effect until at least June 30.
Under the new CFPB rule, “debt collectors seeking to evict tenants for non-payment of rent must provide tenants who may have rights under the CDC order with clear and conspicuous written notice of those rights. The notice must be provided on the same date as the eviction notice, or, if no eviction notice is required by law, on the date that the eviction action is filed.”
The CFPB said the notice must be made in writing. Failure to do so would be a violation of federal law.