Can a bank auction a home with tenants in it?
Yes they can. But tenants are protected at least 90 days before they can be evicted.
In May of 2009 President Obama signed a law protecting tenants in foreclosed properties ( http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Memo-Renter-Protections-S-896.pdf ) which requires that “bona fide” tenants get 90-days notice prior to eviction, and allow tenants to occupy the property until the end of their lease term, except the lease can be terminated in 90 days if the bank sells the home to some one who will live in it.
In other words, if the bank owns the property you are living in and you still have 6 months left on your lease, and a person that buys it at auction wants you out, they still have to give you 90 days notice…but they don’t have to honor the full 6 months left on the lease. The bank may even lower the auction reserve just to entice a buyer to take the tenants.
“Prior to the Federal legislation at the end of 2009 tenants could and were evicted upon foreclosure,” Said Tampa Realtor Lisa Reeves in a recent online post. “The banks are now forced to maintain the property until the tenant vacates or sell occupied. Trust me banks would rather evict – they aren’t management companies and aren’t set up to handle 100′s of 1000′s rents for a few 100 dollars.”