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Tenants Gain New Protections Under the FDCPA Pursuant to Interim Final Order from FPB

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Wednesday April 21, 2021
Tenants Gain New Protections Under the FDCPA Pursuant to Interim Final Order from FPB

On Monday, the Financial Protection Bureau (“FPB”) issued an interim final order that has a significant impact on landlords during COVID-19; this order, effective as of May 2021, provided more protection to tenants, and bolsters the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) eviction moratorium.
Under this new rule, “debt collectors” seeking to evict tenants for non-payment of rent are required to inform them, in writing and accompanying the eviction notice itself, of their rights under the CDC eviction moratorium; phone calls or e-mails are insufficient to meet this burden. In the grand scheme of things, this rule is entirely consistent with most other FPB and debt-collection laws; notice of rights is an important part of protecting consumers from less-than-ethical business entities; indeed, the new rule was issued under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) (California’s state law version is known as the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“RFDCPA”). Thus, “debt collectors” who violate this rule may be personally liable to the tenants.
Under the CDC’s eviction moratorium, in place since September 2020 and remaining in effect until at least June 2021, prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent provided the tenant certifies the non-payment is the result of COVID-19’s impact on their earnings – it is important to note that this notification must be in advance of an eviction notice, not in response to an eviction notice. Notwithstanding the moratorium, many landlords continue to evict tenants, citing non-compliance with the rules or fraud as the basis for those evictions. Naturally consumer protection public interest groups have flocked to the tenants’ defense.
At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of the rules surrounding management of investment properties is powerful knowledge indeed. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.

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