You know how if you want to serve someone a subpoena, you actually literally have to find them and shove it in their faces?
It creates an incentive for the whoever’s getting served to avoid detection, because if you can avoid getting served, you can avoid coming in.
Well it seems that Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal — who is currently the frontrunner for the Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd — is eager to apply a similar notion to the concept of foreclosures and evictions.
According to internal documents obtained by HousingWire (via Teri Buhl), Blumenthal backs the idea that if you’re being foreclosed upon, all you have to do is avoid answering the door, and there’s nothing that the bank can do about it.
Seriously, as long as you play hideout, you’re in the clear.
The idea is that all residents of any homes are to be treated as tenants, and tenants enjoy special rights:
According to copies of letters I’ve reviewed, Blumenthal instructs servicers to “treat all occupants of foreclosed properties as bona fide tenants, unless there is credible evidence to the contrary.” The letters also ask lenders to “refrain from treating the mere failure to respond to a notice as evidence that the occupant is not a bona fide tenant.”
Let’s get ground-level here, since Blumenthal’s office clearly chose not to: any borrower who hides behind their door and refuses to answer gets treated as a “bona fide” tenant under the Federal law? Really? Apparently, it’s asking too much to expect at least some level of responsibility among the voting public in Connecticut. (Or even common courtesy, for that matter.)
Here’s why this matters. Most evictions, in Connecticut and elsewhere in the U.S., involve former owners (and not tenants). For former owners in Connecticut, there is no notice period – meaning that once the foreclosure is complete, eviction proceedings begin. Tenants have always had 60 days notice within the state, an inconvenient truth Blumenthal chose to ignore during his press conference. The PTFA, then, essentially gives some tenants (those that are “bona fide” as defined by the law) an extra 30 days over and above what the state already requires.
By treating any non-responsive occupant as a “bona fide” tenant, any Dick, Jane, or Harry willing to leave their front door closed can get three months’ worth of free rent.
Anyway, it’s another great way for Blumenthal to be the anti-Chris Dodd, the guy who will stick it to the banks even to the point of an absurd interpretation of the law. Voters should be happy.
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