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I was rvicted from my home by police due to Landlord's property foreclosure. I was given no notice to move by anyone prior to this nor did any formal or informal eviction take place.

The lady in the clerk's office told me that it is perfectly legal for this to happen at the drop of a hat here in Rutherford county North Carolina. She told me that the tenant protection act nor any North Carolina state laws pertain to me because I did not present a copy of my lease to the clerk of court and request a file be created and opened in my name and such life they placed into this file the day that I came here three years ago.

The real estate company overseeing for the bank had refused to let me get any of my belongings from this property.

I have talked with a very inexperienced attorney at Pisgah legal services who has no time for my questions and tells me she does not know what I should do.

I know this cannot be legal. How can they just rip me out of my home after work one day with no notice whatsoever and just throw me on the street and keep everything I own??

Is this how tenants are removed upon foreclosure of a rental property? People have just been driving up and going in and hauling my things away. Thieves. They have removed and take it to the scrap yard two lawn tractors for window air-conditioning units which were room size and two that were large 25,000 and above BTU unit as well as a fully drivable RV that was being restored in numerous other smaller items.

I don't know what's going on here or what to do about this the officer was extremely rude and everything I own is on this property as well as everything my son owns our parents ashes are out there. everything. How can this be and how can it be that I'm just supposed to take my one pair of pants and walk away after years of being here?

The Real estate representatives knew I was here because they had been here before about a month before because they pulled in my driveway and saw me standing there and backed out quickly and the officer that did this had been here one time before to serve a civil summons on the property owner and I had a conversation with him and let him know she no longer lived here and told him where she lived therefore he knew I lived here too but regardless he told me he had already called animal control to Come assist him getting me off of this property so yes he knew I was leaving there. They all knew we lived leaving there.

I cannot afford to retain a private attorney and I need guidance I need help in a bad way and I have become homeless at the drop of a hat for no reason other than the property went back to apparently the bank. I rent month to month and have for a few years now. I have not been told to look for a place to take my mobile home or anything at all by anyone I have my home out there,two cars, and everything I have ever owned is out here and they tell me now that that's just too bad.

I am 52 years old in Rivertowne in North Carolina I'm trying to stand up for myself but I have absolutely no idea how. What should I do every official I'll try to talk to here just dismisses me and just tell me that they don't know.

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    Please consider breaking this wall of text into some paragraphs, people will be more inclined to read if it's not just one giant paragraph.
    – Ron Beyer
    May 6 at 16:01
  • I have edited the question to separate it into paragraphs, and to remove some of the content not relevant to the legal question here. May 6 at 18:16
  • You really need to seek proper in-person legal advice. While we might refine an answer for you over a week or so, you need someone on your side who knows what they're talking about out of the gate. And I read your original post and I do sympathise with how stressful this must be for you. Please, please believe me that you will get through this, there are people out there who can and will help you. May 6 at 19:13
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    I must agree with @GeoffAtkins that you need to seek a lawyer. My answer below outlines several of the rights of a tenant which seem to have been violated, and the laws that are relevant (and it didn't take a week either). Several of the pages I link offer further information, and assistance in finding legal advice. One is from the NC Dept of Justice which takes consumer complaints in such matters. May 6 at 19:31
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It would appear, from the facts as stated in the question, that the tenant here has been deprived of some of the tenant's legal rights. Tenants have a right to notice, to a hearing, to appeal the result of the herring, and to obtain property after an eviction.

The federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (12 U.S.C. § 5201 *et seq.) gives a tenant a right to 90 days notice before any eviction after a foreclosure, even if there is no lease. If the is a lease, protection will in most cases last until the end of the lease.

According to the "Landlord/Tenant Issues" page of the NC court system, a lawful eviction in North Carolina requires that a hearing take place in small claims court before a magistrate. The decision in such a hearing can be appealed to a District court. Parties have 10 days to appeal, and the landlord must not try to remove the tenant before the end of those 10 days. If an appeal is filed the tenant may not be evicted until the appeal is heard.

According to the court page after eviction:

Depending on the value of your belongings left in the home, you have 5 to 7 days after the home is padlocked to arrange with the landlord a time to remove your belongings. Landlords are only required to allow tenants one visit to the home to collect all of the property. If you leave property worth a total of $500 or less in the home, you have 5 days to retrieve it; if it is worth more than $500, you have 7 days. If you have not yet arranged to move your things in this time period, the landlord can dispose of them.

The page "Renters and Foreclosure" from the NC Department of Justice (NCDOJ) says:

If your lease is entered into before the notice of foreclosure, the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act usually requires the mortgage holder and foreclosure buyer to honor your lease. If you do not have a lease, if your lease allows for the landlord to terminate it at will, or if the foreclosure buyer wants to move into the home, you must be given 90 days’ notice to vacate. These protections do not apply if your landlord is a close relative or if your rent is substantially less than fair market rent.

...

If you have questions about your rights as a renter during foreclosure contact us for help or call toll free within North Carolina 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

The Nolo page "Protections for Tenants After a Landlord’s Foreclosure" says:

The PTFA (12 U.S.C. § 5201 and following) provides protections to bona fide tenants who have a lease as well as those who don’t, like month-to-month renters.

...

Renters who don’t have a lease, such as month-to-month renters, or those with a lease that can be terminated at will, get 90 days’ notice before having to move out of the property. Importantly, the PTFA also provides that if state law gives a more generous amount of time for renters to stay in the home, that longer period applies.

Foindlaw's page "Tenant Eviction in Foreclosure: What Are Your Rights?" also mentions PFTA and the 90-day notice to tenants it requires

The page "Tenant’s Rights in Foreclosure" from HCP l;aw says:

One provision under North Carolina law that can protect a tenant before any sale or foreclosure occurs is to record the written lease in the Register of Deeds office. If that is done, any buyer, including a buyer at foreclosure, takes the property but is bound by the lease, just like the prior landlord was.

When the lease is not recorded and when a purchaser obtains the property through a foreclosure sale, and the purchaser is not going to occupy the property as his primary residence, in most cases, the tenant can remain through the length of the remaining lease or one year from the date the purchaser acquired the title, whichever is shorter.

The NOLO page "Tenant Defenses to Eviction Notices in North Carolina" indicates several defenses that tenants may have to eviction cases.

The Nolo page mentions that:

North Carolina law states that it is against public policy to evict a tenant by any means other than court proceedings. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 42-25.6.) Any attempt to evict a tenant without a court order constitutes a self-eviction or a “self-help” eviction. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 42-25.9(a).) Some common “self-help” methods include turning off utilities, changing the locks, or simply insisting that the tenant leave the premises. (See the Nolo article Illegal Eviction Procedures in North Carolina for more information.) A tenant subjected to “self-help” methods will have a defense to eviction. However, the eviction will only be stayed until the landlord commences a lawful action.

The Nolo page advises that:

For an overview of landlord-tenant law and eviction rules and procedures, see the Renting and Evictions section of LawHelpNC.org, the Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) Landlord-Tenant brochure, and HUD.gov. To read the law itself, see Chapter 42: Landlord and Tenant of the North Carolina General Statutes.

The Nolo article has advice on how to find a lawyer and how to get legal aid.

The "Guide to the Eviction Process in North Carolina" also mentions that tenants must be served with an eviction notice, at least 7-days notice for a monthly tenant. This page deals primarily with evictions because of non-payment of rent or other fault of the tenet. It also mentions notice for disposing of property saying:

landlords must notify [Tenants] of their belongings before disposing of them. If the tenant doesn’t respond, you can dispose of the personal items after the time-frame on the notice expires. (NCGS § 42-25.9) and (NCGS § 42-36.2)

NC statutes section 42-25.9 provides that:

§ 42-25.9. Remedies.

(a) If any lessor, landlord, or agent removes or attempts to remove a tenant from a dwelling unit in any manner contrary to this Article, the tenant shall be entitled to recover possession or to terminate his lease and the lessor, landlord or agent shall be liable to the tenant for damages caused by the tenant's removal or attempted removal. Damages in any action brought by a tenant under this Article shall be limited to actual damages as in an action for trespass or conversion and shall not include punitive damages, treble damages or damages for emotional distress.

(b) If any lessor, landlord, or agent seizes possession of or interferes with a tenant's access to a tenant's or household member's personal property in any manner not in accordance with G.S. 44A-2(e2), 42-25.9(d), 42-25.9(g), 42-25.9(h), or G.S. 42-36.2 the tenant or household member shall be entitled to recover possession of his personal property or compensation for the value of the personal property, and, in any action brought by a tenant or household member under this Article, the landlord shall be liable to the tenant or household member for actual damages, but not including punitive damages, treble damages or damages for emotional distress.

(c) The remedies created by this section are supplementary to all existing common-law and statutory rights and remedies.

(d) If any tenant abandons personal property of seven hundred fifty dollar ($750.00) value or less in the demised premises, or fails to remove such property at the time of execution of a writ of possession in an action for summary ejectment, the landlord may, as an alternative to the procedures provided in G.S. 42-25.9(g), 42-25.9(h), or 42-36.2, deliver the property into the custody of a nonprofit organization regularly providing free or at a nominal price clothing and household furnishings to people in need, upon that organization agreeing to identify and separately store the property for 30 days and to release the property to the tenant at no charge within the 30-day period.

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  • Is that law referring to the legal relationship between the tenant and the landlord, or does it extend to between the tenant and the landlord's creditors? Because that is the issue here. I'm not saying you're wrong, and debt or court enforcement officers are likely completely untrained in the nuances of the law, but that is an important distinction. May 6 at 19:44
  • @GeoffAtkins The federal law mandating the 90 day notice appears to apply to the foreclosing creditor. So does the similar, NC law. Us law often requires a new owner to take with a currnt tenancy honored. May 6 at 19:58

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