On March 29, 2021, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Acting Director Dave Uejio and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter issued a joint statement regarding their agencies’ work to stop illegal evictions and protect American consumers facing economic hardship due to COVID-19.
The joint statement referenced a March 1 CFPB report finding that the COVID-19 pandemic has endangered renters, with over 8.8 million people behind on rent. Of those tenants, people of color are disproportionately affected. The joint statement then noted reports of major multistate landlords forcing tenants from properties despite eviction moratoria, or before such tenants were aware of their rights. As a result, CFPB and FTC staff will monitor and investigate eviction practices — particularly by major multistate landlords, eviction management services, and private equity firms to ensure compliance with applicable law.
The joint statement also advised that evicting tenants in violation of applicable law or threatening to evict them without apprising them of their legal rights may violate federal laws such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Federal Trade Commission Act. The CFPB and FTC concluded the joint statement by warning they will not tolerate “illegal practices that displace families and expose them... to grave health risks.”