Nearly 9 million households are behind on their rental payments. Tens of thousands of renters are being evicted every week, often without being told of their rights under the CDC moratorium. As the CDC has found, tenants who are evicted may end up homeless or in crowded or shared living settings, increasing their vulnerability to COVID-19 and the risk of the disease spreading throughout communities. Such evictions can have long-term health, financial, and social consequences for families and children.
A temporary eviction moratorium ordered by the CDC has been extended through June 30, 2021. The CDC order generally prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment of rent, if the tenant submits a written declaration that they are unable to afford full rental payments and would likely become homeless or have to move into a shared living setting.
On April 19, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interim final rule in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s eviction moratorium. This interim final rule:
- Amends existing Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA);
- Is effective on May 3, 2021;
- Requires debt collectors to provide written notice to tenants of their rights under the eviction moratorium and prohibits debt collectors from misrepresenting tenants’ eligibility for protection from eviction under the moratorium; and
- Applies to “debt collectors” as defined in the FDCPA and Regulation F.
The CDC has established the eviction moratorium to protect the public health and reduce the spread of the virus. Debt collectors who evict tenants who may have rights under the moratorium without providing notice of the moratorium or who misrepresent tenants’ rights under the moratorium can be prosecuted by federal agencies and state attorneys general for violations of the FDCPA and are also subject to private lawsuits by tenants.