Tenants Receive Overdue Foreclosure Love

01/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This entry is cross-posted on DMI blog.

Tenants who live in homes facing foreclosure are among the most invisible victims of the foreclosure crisis. As their landlords lose ownership, the financial institutions holding or servicing the mortgage typically toss the tenants out on the street in order to clear the way for re-sale. (This is not to mention the tenants who face the opposite fate: Lving in a foreclosed property that no one has claimed and is falling into disrepair.)

That's why Fannie Mae's announcement that it will allow renters to remain, month-to-month, in foreclosed homes owned by the mortgage institution is such big news.

"There are renters all around the country who have been holding up their end of the bargain and paying their rent faithfully, but the landlord got into trouble, and so the renter is now unfairly facing eviction," said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, a consumer advocacy group. "It's really good news that Fannie Mae is doing this. Now the question is whether private sector will follow suit."

Organizers, advocates and activists of the progressive persuasion take note: The next frontier of the anti-foreclosure fight is to compel other financial institutions and policy makers to follow Fannie's lead, and protect tenants, no matter who owns their mortgage, from foreclosure evictions.