There's nothing like a few statistics to back up a tragedy and, with home foreclosures continuing to rise, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released a few eye-openers last week.
In its report, "Without Just Cause," the coalition says that roughly 40 percent of the families currently facing eviction in the United States are caught in a bank foreclosure on the home or apartment they rent. That means their landlord fell behind in his or her mortgage payments, but, in most states, the report says, the rent-paying tenant has little recourse but to go -- on short notice, as only 17 states require that tenants be given any type of notice.
Only 14 states and the District of Columbia require a judicial process for foreclosure, meaning tenants can't even count on the time a court process might take -- a bank can sell the property in 20 days. (It can happen either way in Washington, depending on how the mortgage is written.) And only New Jersey and D.C. preserve the terms of a tenant lease after foreclosure.
The good news: If you're in a house or unit repossessed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you can stay. That's a new rule adopted by lenders in the wake of a tenant lawsuit filed last year by Connecticut's New Haven Legal Assistance Association.