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Unanswered Questions Under the PTFA: Exploring the Extent of Tenant Protections in Foreclosed Properties


Elan Stavros Nichols


Michigan State University College of Law

July 18, 2011

Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 20, No. 2, Winter 2011
MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-18

Abstract:     
The somewhat new Federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (the “PTFA”), as recently amended, still leaves many questions of interpretation in states with the foreclosure by advertisement process, and in states with laws related to issues on which the PTFA is silent. The PTFA is vague in places, and does not address certain issues raised by the foreclosure processes in certain states, where state law is not clearly preempted.

This article will examine how the PTFA, including the recent amendments and any recent judicial and advisory opinions, applies in states with the foreclosure by advertisement process (as opposed to judicial foreclosure). The article will use Michigan as a case study for this inquiry, briefly discussing other states with a similar process. In so doing, the article will discuss issues raised in these states concerning matters on which the PTFA’s terms are vague or wholly silent.

To that end, this article picks up where the article, “Interpreting the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009,” 19 J. of Affordable Housing & Community Dev Law 205 (Winter, 2010), by Allyson Gold, left off. Of particular assistance will be the recent statutory amendments, any relevant case law, interpretive statements from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the “working interpretation” adopted by legal services providers and others agencies dealing with the foreclosure crisis. Consequently, this article will conclude with a proposal for a reasonably fair interpretation of the PTFA in states with foreclosure by advertisement and in states where the PTFA is not expressly preempted but still leaves questions.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: tenant, tenancy, foreclosure, protecting tenants at foreclosure act, rent, landlord, lease, housing, foreclosure law, residence, mortgage, property, eviction, apartment, bank, owner, foreclosure by advertisement, power of sale, judicial foreclosure, economic crisis, housing crisis, redemption

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Date posted: August 20, 2011 ; Last revised: August 23, 2011

Suggested Citation

Nichols, Elan Stavros, Unanswered Questions Under the PTFA: Exploring the Extent of Tenant Protections in Foreclosed Properties (July 18, 2011). Journal of Affordable Housing, Vol. 20, No. 2, Winter 2011; MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-18. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1911882

Contact Information

Elan S. Nichols (Contact Author)
Michigan State University College of Law ( email )
318 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States
517-336-8088 (Phone)
517-336-8089 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.msu.edu/clinics/rhc
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