If your building, house or complex has been put into foreclosure, it’s likely you will be pressured to move. If you are living with a disability, a forced move is particularly hard. You may feel that you can’t fight it. If you have a housing voucher from HUD, you may feel that any fight would put your voucher at risk. But, why should you suffer for the bad decisions of others?
If you, like our guest Gloria Alee, want to make it tough for people to force you out of your home, Gloria has put together this list for you.
Tenants Together www.tenantstogether.org/995 Market St#1202/SF 94103 (415) 495-8100 HERA/Housing and Economics Rights Advocates www.heraca.org/P.O. Box 29435/Oakland 94604 (510) 271-8443 DREDF/Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund www.dredf.org/3075 Adeline Street, Suite 210/Berkeley 94703 (510) 644-2555 ACLU/American Civil Liberties Union www.aclu.org NAMI/National Alliance for the Mentally Ill www.nami.org BALA/BayAreaLegalAid/David Levin: Housing Attorney Alameda County – (510) 250-5270 Contra Costa County West – (510) 250-5270 Contra Costa County East – (925) 219-3325 Marin County – (415) 354-6360 Napa County – (707) 320-6348 San Francisco – (415) 354-6360 San Mateo County – (650) 472-2666 Santa Clara County – (408) 850-7066 Toll-Free – (800) 551-5554 Tenants and Landlords Rights and Responsibilities Handbook available online and/or by mail and some local and county agencies Important Points to Remember: If you are a tenant in residence at time of foreclosure and you receive an Unlawful Detainer (UD) you need to do two things: Get help filing a Response/Answer; Understand that an Unlawful Detainer filing in the context of foreclosure is an Abuse of Process* (ie. Illegal and has no place being applied in a foreclosure matter) and essentially serves to penalize the tenant for the owner’s loss of their property! But UDs have been used by Fannie Mae’s eviction attorneys because they do imply wrongdoing on the part of the tenant (serving to further penalize tenants by stereotyping them!) *What this means is that the attorney is fraudulently using the UD to get an eviction in a matter of foreclosure/the UD creates the perception of wrongdoing on the part of the tenant. The owner is the person who should initiate the eviction. If that was not done before the foreclosure, then there is no evidence that you caused any problem for the owner. Or, for that matter, if you have a housing voucher from HUD, why didn’t the housing authority rescind the housing voucher as they have the legal right to do if a tenant is violating the terms of the lease agreement. Tenants have been threatened with the loss of their housing vouchers if they do not move. This is also illegal: tenants did not cause banks to make loans to people who could not afford to repay them. Tenants did not cause banks to foreclose upon a property. Fannie Mae (on its website) asserts they Do Not Evict tenants in residence at time of foreclosure. Additionally, it is in Violation of Federal Law (per PTFA/Protection for Tenants in Residence at time of Foreclosure/ Pres. Obama enacting this into law in May 2009) to do so. Arm yourself with a copy of the ADA:Americans with Disabilities Act (accessible online) Arm yourself w/the a copy of the US Constitution
If you are being harassed or threatened by people calling your home telling you they are there to sell the property; or help you relocate call the police. Seriously. No one should be contacting you with unsolicited calls or wanting to discuss your tenancy with you. Your lease is between you, the owner, and the administrators of your housing subsidy voucher.
Each county has an Adult Protective Services unit–report your concerns to them; many people have county-based caseworkers/social workers involved in helping them manage their affairs/living situations. Report to them as soon as these calls and contacts begin. You can also report to your local District Attorney’s Consumer Protection and Complaint division. They are authorized to investigate scams, fraud, and anything else they believe is worthy of their concern or in the public interest. Also report to your doctor the impact of these threats to your housing as it can/does take a toll on your health. Gloria’s doctor wrote a letter stating that being forced to move before her recovery was complete would be detrimental to her health. Documenting the impact and effects upon your health is also important in the event that you decide to file a liability claim.
Advocacy Groups: If you are fortunate enough to find a support group to help you/work with you through the process, that is fabulous. Gloria Alee worked to make the most of what has been available to her: emailing all in her address book about what she was facing; going before the local Board of Supervisors; reporting to Community Mental Health; reporting to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness); starting a Facebook campaign to tell Fannie Mae they should rescind the Eviction order she received in 2010 and to rescind the most recent (2nd one!) Unlawful Detainer filed in October and scheduled for hearing in March 2012.
Gloria Alee’s e-mail is email@example.comSHARE