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Know your rights as a renter facing eviction

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that says that debt collectors must follow certain rules when collecting a debt. For example, the FDCPA says that debt collectors can’t harass you or use false or misleading statements to collect a debt.

The FDCPA applies to many lawyers who regularly collect debt. This may include lawyers who represent landlords or property managers in eviction court to collect unpaid rent, if they start collecting the debt for your landlord after you fall behind on your payments. As debt collectors, these lawyers violate the FDCPA when they make false or misleading statements in order to collect rent.

To help people stay in stable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order that means you may be protected from eviction for not paying your rent until June 30, 2021.

The CDC moratorium is not automatic. See the steps to take and get started today.

We recently released an Interim Final Rule to increase awareness of the protections under the CDC Order. Starting on May 3, 2021, a debt collector must give you a disclosure about the CDC Order when they send you an eviction notice or file an eviction lawsuit, if the CDC Order might reasonably apply to you. The disclosure might also tell you that you could have temporary protection from eviction under the laws of your state, city, or local area.

The rule includes sample language that your landlord’s attorney or other debt collectors can use to notify you of the CDC Order or state and local eviction protections.

If you think a debt collector is violating these rules, talk with an attorney soon. You may be able to find free legal aid to help you in court. You may also have the right to sue the debt collector for violating your rights under the FDCPA.

You can submit a complaint about unfair debt collection practices to the CFPB, but we cannot represent you in court. Submitting a complaint to us will not delay your eviction.

Learn more about your rights as a tenant

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