Addressing calls to step up enforcement of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national ban on evictions, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an interim rule on Monday that will allow tenants to sue debt collectors that violate the national ban on evictions.
CNBC, Apr 19, 2021: Consumer watchdog group issues policy to strengthen national eviction moratorium
Attorneys for landlords and other debt collectors who wrongly evict tenants could also face federal and state prosecution, and these debt collectors must now provide tenants notice of their rights under the eviction ban in writing and on the same date an eviction notice is served. Thus far, there have been few consequences for landlords violating the CDC eviction moratorium.
CNBC cited research by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project which counted more than 57,000 new eviction cases filed by corporate landlords in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas alone since the CDC eviction ban went into effect.
Research has shown that evictions have led significantly more coronavirus cases and deaths. With coronavirus cases and unemployment rates still high, President Joe Biden has since extended the moratorium through the end of June. The CFPB announcement is a sign that the Biden administration plans to more aggressively enforce the CDC eviction moratorium, first issued by the Trump administration in September.