FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2020
PREDATORY LANDLORDS OPENLY FILING EVICTIONS PROHIBITED BY THE CARES ACT
(BOSTON– July 30, 2020) – NACA has discovered illegal evictions being conducted by many of the country’s largest corporate landlords. These include GreyStar Real Estate, Starwood Capital, and Blackstone (former owner of Invitation Homes). NACA has found prohibited eviction activity underway against tenants in properties from Arizona to Massachusetts to Florida and Texas even though the properties have federally backed mortgages or subsidies and are undeniably protected by the CARES Act.
Predatory corporate landlords are deliberately ignoring the protections provided under the CARES Act and filing illegal eviction proceedings against mainly minority tenants struggling with job loss and other hardships that are a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. An eviction crisis presently looms over the United States, even though the federal eviction moratorium created by the CARES Act has been extended to August 31st. Estimates say as many as 28 million renters face eviction between now and this fall, and the homes involved are disproportionately in non-white neighborhoods.
NACA is the only organization taking real action to halt illegal evictions.
“NACA is an advocacy organization that takes on predators including predatory landlords. These landlords are evicting tenants illegally while they still receive government assistance. NACA will continue to work with tenants in fighting these slumlord predators”, according to NACA’s founder and CEO, Bruce Marks.
African Americans and Hispanics are being disproportionately threatened with eviction due to the same systemic racism that prevents many minorities from owning a home of their own. These are the same people who are more likely to fall victim to the coronavirus or lose their jobs because of the pandemic. But now they are on the brink of also losing the four walls that officials have repeatedly told everyone to take refuge behind to protect themselves from Covid-19.
In many cases however, the homes from which these families are being evicted are financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, placing them directly under the protection of the eviction moratorium. Even in the 15 states where courts require an affidavit certifying the property in question is not protected by the CARES Act, the affidavit is simply falsified in many cases. The landlords know that the CARES Act provides no enforcement powers to the various federal agencies responsible for administering the provisions of the Act, and thus no accountability for the landlords.
Very few of the tenants can afford to hire a lawyer to defend them, causing 90% of tenants who face eviction to be unrepresented by legal counsel. Most have no idea how to fight an eviction action or that they even have the right to do so.
NACA has created a series of Neighborhood Action Committees (NACs) nationwide to act as the front-line defenders against these slumlords. Members of each local NAC will help tenants facing unlawful eviction file complaints with the CFPB and other agencies to halt the evictions and hold the owners responsible. Attorneys will help renters take legal action against predatory landlords and hold them accountable for their legal and moral negligence.
Bruce Marks continued, “We will be relentless in our pursuit of these predators. Just as we fought to save homeowners during the mortgage crisis and have helped tens of thousands of low and moderate income buyers reach the American Dream of homeownership, NACA will take on these predatory landlords to continue the fight for economic justice and prevent illegal evictions.”
About NACA (www.naca.com):
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to economic justice through affordable home ownership and community action. Founded by Bruce Marks more than thirty years ago, NACA is the largest HUD certified counseling agency with more than two million members nationwide. NACA’s proven process has established the national standard for low to modest income people realize the American dream of homeownership. NACA also has an impressive track record of assisting homeowners. During the mortgage crisis, through NACA’s Save the Dream events, more than 250,000 homeowners were able to modify their unaffordable mortgages. Now, NACA’s online Achieve the Dream events provide the same extraordinary outcomes for many thousands of homebuyers. www.naca.com.