The foreclosure crisis has been devastating to homeowners and to communities. With the first waves of foreclosure, we saw families with subprime mortgages losing their homes. More and more, it’s long-term unemployment that is forcing homeowners into foreclosure. Less publicized in all of this has been the affect of foreclosure on renters.

Landlords are defaulting on their mortgages as well. NLIHC estimates that renters make up 40% of the households affected by foreclosure. In 2009, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which provides substantial protections to tenants who are the blameless party in a foreclosure.

As this article in MSN Real Estate shows, however, renters don’t always know there is a law in place to protect them when their landlord faces foreclosure. Because renters must enforce their rights themselves, it is important for every renter to learn the facts about the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act and be prepared to take action. Tenants have the right to stay in their homes during foreclosure under almost every circumstance, thanks to the law.

At NLIHC, we still receive calls every day from renters who are unsure of their rights. More needs to be done to educate the public. Do you have an idea about how to get the word out to renters about the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.