Pro Bono News

How Tenants in a Foreclosed Home Become Homeowners: A Guide (NY)

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

How Tenants in a Foreclosed Home Become Homeowners: A Guide

"SLOATSBURG - The Carreño family have been overjoyed for the past few weeks since the rental house they had called home for the past two-and-a-half years finally became theirs. 

"I'm very happy now," said Alejandro Carreño, 49, as he sat alongside his wife Maria Elena Cortez, 42, and their eight-year-old daughter Alexa in their dining room one recent afternoon. "But before, we were very stressed. People were coming to see the house because they were interested in buying it."

Renters are often blindsided by the news that their landlord is facing foreclosure. Banks are required to notify all tenants that the property is being foreclosed, but tenants may accidentally disregard these notices as they can be addressed to "Jane and John Doe."

Carreño and Cortez found themselves living in a foreclosed home after the bank took over the ownership. A "for sale" sign went up in front of their Eagle Valley Road house, and prospective buyers showed up to view the property, Carreño recalled.

"I do think that this situation can happen to other people," said Stephanie Rojas, housing director of the Rockland Housing Action Coalition, noting that foreclosure cases persist in Rockland. "After foreclosure, the new owner has to give notice to tenants. They can stay there for the remainder of their lease. If they don’t have a lease, they have 90 days from the notice."

The couple rented the house on a month-to-month basis after their initial lease expired..."

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