The following information is provided by AZREIA Business Associate Zona Law Group P.C.

As we reported previously, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has published an order that debt collectors must notify residents that they have rights under the CDC moratorium in any eviction notice or eviction action. It is unclear whether this applies to property managers. However, the CFPB is abundantly clear that this information must be served with the termination of tenancy notice, and not just with the eviction lawsuit. Therefore, we suggest clients err on the side of caution and include this new language in each and every notice sent to the tenant, including courtesy notices regarding delinquent rent.

This CFPB rule is effective starting today. All applicable notices must have this required language. To be safe, we suggest clients put this language on all legal and courtesy notices sent to clients. The language must be prominently displayed on your forms (don’t make it small font or otherwise attempt to hide it).

Due to potential confusion in the FDCPA and its application, we believe all property managers should include this language in their notices (even if they don’t think they are debt collectors).

The CFPB gave two samples of the language.

(#1)

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under Federal law.
Learn the steps you should take now:
-Visit www.cfpb.gov/eviction
-Or call a housing counselor at 800-569-4287

OR

(#2)

Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under the laws of your State, territory, locality, or tribal area, or under Federal law.
Learn the steps you should take now:
-Visit www.cfpb.gov/eviction
-Or call a housing counselor at 800-569-4287

Click here for the sample language.

The second language is more broad, and we suggest it be used. This is especially true since the Arizona Supreme Court has a broad interpretation of the CDC moratorium and says it applies to non-renewals.

There are significant financial penalties for violating the FDCPA including but not limited to class action lawsuits. Clients should be very careful as to how they proceed with evictions and consult with an attorney when setting forth new policies on these matters.

CLICK HERE FOR THE SAMPLE LANGUAGE FROM CFPB.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL RULE EFFECTIVE 5/3/21.

CLICK HERE FOR SHORT SUMMARY ON THE RULE.

by Zona Law Group P.C.