Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Bernard Parks called on Countrywide Bank to investigate its foreclosure practices to determine whether the bank and its agents are fully disclosing rights to tenants of foreclosed rental properties.
According to Los Angeles city laws, a change in building ownership due to foreclosure alone is not an adequate reason to evict a tenant and tenants must be notified of their rights in these situations. In the event that eviction is justified following a foreclosure, tenants are also entitled to a relocation fee in the minimum amount of $6,810.
Garcetti and Parks made their announcement in front of a South Los Angeles duplex foreclosed by Countrywide. Following the foreclosure, the building’s tenants, Cynthia Spears and Armenta Mallory, were pressured to vacate the building and offered a $1,000 relocation fee – far lower than the minimum required by law. At the press conference, Garcetti and Parks released a copy of a letter the tenants received from an agent of Countrywide urging them to vacate the property and offering the $1,000 relocation fee.
Los Angeles City Attorney, Rocky Delgadillo was also on hand to give an update on the status of the request made by Parks and Garcetti of Countrywide. As of 2 p.m. Thursday, July 3, the letter that was sent to the building tenants has been rescinded allowing the tenants to remain living in the building indefinitely.