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Call to Action: Protect Tenants in Foreclosures

February 13, 2009: What happens to the tenants if a landlord has not paid the mortgage, and now the bank wants to foreclose on the building? Tenants are in a difficult position – even if they have paid the rent and done everything they should under the lease, they will probably be evicted. 20-40% of the people being evicted throughout Maryland because of foreclosures are tenants. 
Current law gives little protection: tenants are given little if any notice that the property is being foreclosed, and in most cases, their leases terminate when the property is sold to a new owner at the foreclosure sale.
NOW WE CAN CHANGE THAT. Legislation has been introduced in the Maryland State House and Senate to provide additional protections for tenants who may be evicted of a foreclosure. We urge you and your organization to join the Public Justice Center in supporting the bills below.   Hearings in Annapolis are scheduled for February 25th, 26th, and March 5th.


Tenants in Foreclosure Protection Act
Senate Bill 829 (hearing on 2/25 in Judicial Proceedings Committee); House Bill 733 (hearing on 2/26 in Environmental Matters Committee). See full text here.
This bill will change the law so that when a property is sold at a foreclosure sale, the tenants’ rental agreement will not be terminated. The lease will continue until the original expiration date or for three months, during which time the tenant and new owner can negotiate to extend or renew the lease. The new owner will continue to have the same duties as the prior owner, such as maintaining the property.
Notice to Occupants Bill
Senate Bill 842 (hearing on 2/25 in Judicial Proceedings Committee); House Bill 776 (hearing on 3/5 in Environmental Matters Committee). See full text here.
This bill provides important information to the tenants by first class and certified mail at three important times: (1) when the foreclosure case is filed in court, (2) when the foreclose sale is scheduled, and (3) when the court orders the eviction of any occupants. The notices tell the tenant how to get more information, the earliest date on which the tenants could be evicted, and who to talk to about continuing to rent the property.


  • legislators need to hear from their constituents who are hurt – tenants who have actually been in danger of losing their homes because of a foreclosure. The PJC will help prepare you to write your story or to testify in person.
  • your organization can testify at the committee hearings  – let us know if you want to testify and we can add you to a panel.
  • write a letter of support – put it on your letterhead and fax or send it to the PJC and we will make sure it is filed.
  • tell us that you or your organization is in support – the PJC will add you to a list of supporters that we will put in the record.

Please let us know how you can help: contact Mark McLaurin, Policy Director at the Public Justice Center, at mclaurinm@publicjustice.org or
phone 443-310-0342, fax 410-625-9423

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