Tenant Evicted Without Proper Notice After Bank Foreclosure Does Not Have a Private Right of Action to Bring a Lawsuit Under the Protecting Tenants At Foreclosure Act of 2009 ("PTFA")

In Logan v. U.S. Bank National Association (--- F.3d ----, C.A.9 (Cal.), July 16, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether a tenant evicted from a foreclosed property could bring a lawsuit against the foreclosing party in federal court for improper noticing under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 ("PTFA").  The court ruled that the language of the PTFA did not show Congressional intent to create a private right of action and the lawsuit was dismissed.


Karen Logan was a tenant living on property that was foreclosed upon by U.S. Bank National Association ("U.S. Bank").  U.S. Bank served Logan with a three-day notice of termination and then immediately initiated an unlawful detainer action against Logan.  Logan filed action in federal district court alleging the bank's actions violated the PTFA, which requires giving a tenant 90 days notice to vacate a foreclosed property.  Logan sought injunctive relief and damages against U.S. Bank.  The district court dismissed Logan's complaint claiming that the PTFA does not create a private right of action.  Logan appealed.


The court said that the question before it was whether Congress intended to create a private right of action when it enacted the PTFA.  The court found that the plain language of the statute does not explicitly provide for a private right of action, nor does it implicitly reflect a clear and unambiguous intent to create that right.  Rather, the court said, the PTFA focuses on the obligations of the regulated party, the foreclosing bank, and refers to the tenant only as the object of those obligations.  The court also noted that the PTFA was part of a larger statutory framework designed to help residents of foreclosed properties and that other statutes did specifically create private rights of action that allow "any person" to sue violators of those statutes.  The fact that such language does not appear in the PTFA supports an inference that no private right of action was intended under the PTFA.

The court concluded that the PTFA's language appears intended to protect tenants by providing them a defense in eviction proceedings, rather than a basis for offensive lawsuits in federal court. Because the court could not infer a congressional intent to create a private right of action from the language, structure, or any other source, the court reasoned it must conclude that the private right of action does not exist.  Therefore, the district court's dismissal of Logan's complaint was affirmed.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.