Renters are oft-overlooked victims of foreclosure.
A recent study by the National Law Center On Homelessness and Poverty points out that roughly 20% of all foreclosed properties are rental properties.
You are a renter who has signed a one-year lease, put up a substantial security deposit, moved in, and think you’re all settled for the next twelve months.
Then, two months into your lease, you learn that the property you’re renting just went into foreclosure.
Or, worse, you learn that the property was already in foreclosure when you signed the lease.
Another few months pass, and a sheriff’s deputy knocks on your front door and tells you that you must leave within three days.
You have to move, your deposit is gone, and the landlord has pocketed your rent while not making mortgage payments.
It’s not fair, but it can happen.
Renters in these circumstances are innocent victims and vulnerable through no fault of their own.
Before you sign that lease, check the public records and confirm that a notice of default has not been recorded against the property you want to rent.
That will, at least, confirm that the property is not in foreclosure proceedings when you sign the lease.
You can do this by contacting your county recorder’s office in most locales.