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New Court Rule Protects Tenants in Foreclosure from Short-Notice Eviction

Imagine that your landlord is in foreclosure and a bank just bought the house where you live. Without checking to see if anyone is renting the place, the bank assumes that the former owner lives there and asks the court for a quick eviction notice. Now you’re in danger of losing your home, sliding further into poverty and possibly homelessness.

The Public Justice Center sees this situation again and again as it represents individual tenants. To address the larger problem, the PJC successfully advocated for a change in Maryland Rules that protects low-income tenants from short-notice evictions. The Maryland Court of Appeals adopted the PJC’s revision on June 7.

Under Md. Rule 14-102, the purchaser must now prove to the court that, before starting an eviction process, the purchaser investigated whether a tenant lives at the property. If a tenant does live there, the purchaser must also prove that the tenant’s rights under federal and state law are being respected. The revised rule strengthens federal law that requires foreclosure sale purchasers to honor valid leases that predate the foreclosure.

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