Last week, officials with the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Board sent out letters to dozens of debt collectors and major landlords who collectively house more than two million people, including the The Carlyle Group, Morgan Stanley, Eaton Vance, LaSalle Investment Management, Angelo Gordon & Co, and AEW Capital Management.
In it, they urged the owners to comply with two eviction moratoria and other federal tenant protections, or face regulatory action.
The New York Times noted that the action by federal agencies was spurred by a report by the Private Equity Stakeholder Project that showed large multistate landlords, their collection agents and corporate subsidiaries had filed 57,000 legal eviction petitions around the country since a federal moratorium took effect in September 2020.
Filings by private equity firms and other corporations accounted for the majority of eviction cases filed in many areas. In DeKalb County, Ga., near Atlanta, large landlords were responsible for more than 80 percent of eviction actions over the past six months, they reported.
Since President Biden took office, the CFPB enacted a new rule requiring debt collectors, which are often linked to law firms retained by big companies, to give tenants written notice of their rights under the moratorium and prohibiting them “from misrepresenting tenants’ eligibility for eviction protection.”