Foreclosures can force renters into the street

The Wall Street Journal last week reported on the plight of renters across the country, especially those in small apartment buildings and single-family homes who are paying a high price for their landlords’ financial troubles during the current mortgage crisis. Across the U.S., thousands of people are being evicted. As lending standards were relaxed in recent years, more people snapped up properties that lenders rented out, or partly rented out. When they couldn’t make their mortgage payments, sometimes because their adjustable-rate mortgages reset to higher rates, the properties ended up in foreclosure. In most places in the U.S., that voids tenants’ leases, potentially leaving them homeless.