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U.S. debt collectors must tell delinquent renters about eviction protections

2 minute read

Signage is seen at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) - Debt collectors pursuing Americans for overdue rent must tell them in writing about their rights under a nationwide eviction ban, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said on Monday.

The new interim final rule takes effect on May 3 and seeks to make sure tenants know about protections against eviction under a nationwide moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That measure, introduced to limit the spread of COVID-19, has been extended to June 30.

"Tens of thousands of tenants and families are being evicted every week, many of whom would have had the right to stay in their home," CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio told reporters. "The scale of that is hard to wrap your head around."

To forestall eviction, renters must file declarations saying they would become homeless or be forced into a "shared living setting." And they must attest they have done all they can to get government assistance for rent or housing.

The agency wants to make sure that tenants know about the ban "so no one will lose their home without an opportunity to save it," said Uejio. He said about 9 million households are behind on their rent.

CFPB is scrutinizing mortgage servicers’ compliance with pandemic relief programs amid concerns struggling homeowners are not getting the help they need to avoid foreclosures, or are being discriminated against, Reuters reported on Monday.

In a normal year, about 900,000 American households are evicted.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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