On the day that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended an eviction moratorium until June 30, the acting directors of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission issued a joint statement saying that they will use the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to ensure that tenants are not subjected to illegal practices “that displace families and expose them — and by extension all of us — to grave health risks.”
An illegal eviction may constitute a deceptive or unfair practice under the FDCPA or Federal Trade Commission Act, warned the acting directors — Dave Uejio at the CFPB and Rebecca Slaughter at the FTC.
More than 11 million families are behind on their rent or mortgages and are at risk of losing their homes, according to data released by the CFPB.
“Staff at both agencies will be monitoring and investigating eviction practices, particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction management services, and private equity firms, to ensure that they are complying with the law,” the acting directors said in their statement.
The CDC’s moratorium on evictions was due to expire tomorrow. It was originally put in place last September and barred eviction for nonpayment of rent. Evictions for individuals or families who have not been affected by COVID-19 are still allowed. Keeping individuals in their homes and off the street or in shelters is a public health prerogative, according to the CDC.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a historic threat to the nation’s public health,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.”