FTC Provides Guidance for Consumers, Businesses on Preventing Evictions

EvictionImage by Gerd Altmann

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission has provided guidance for consumers and businesses related to the national moratorium on evictions during the pandemic, which was extended this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report showed that more than 8.8 million Americans are behind on rent payments. The tenants at risk of homelessness are disproportionately people of color, primarily Black and Hispanic families.

FTC Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio, issued a joint statement this week that emphasized the two agencies’ focus on this issue:

“Evicting tenants in violation of the CDC, state, or local moratoria, or threatening to evict them without apprising them of their legal rights under such moratoria, may violate prohibitions against deceptive and unfair practices, including under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. We will not tolerate illegal practices that displace families and expose them—and by extension all of us—to grave health risks.”
Guidance to Consumers

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In a blog post, the FTC provides guidance for the millions of consumers who are currently behind on rent payments as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

The post highlights CDC information on the eligibility requirements for consumers seeking relief under the eviction moratorium, including a link to the written declaration for consumers to provide to their landlords.

In addition, the post states consumers can reach out to their State Attorney General’s office and points to additional rental assistance programs.

Guidance to Businesses
The FTC’s business blog reiterates that both the FTC and CFPB will be monitoring eviction practices – particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction management services, and private equity firms – to ensure companies are complying with the law.

The post notes that businesses should not evict—or threaten to evict—their tenants in violation of the CDC moratorium or any other applicable state or local measures.

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