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Nine Sacramento, Calif., condo tenants are suing over an armed foreclosure eviction, Courthouse News Service reports.
The residents claim guards working for Paladin Protection Services burst into their homes at 3 a.m. armed with Tasers. Tenants were still in their underwear when guards forced them into the street. The security staff occupied the building for about two hours before leaving, residents said. In addition to Tasers, the private security officers also allegedly threatened tenants with arrest and accused them of being squatters.
Residents were eventually allowed back into their units. So why were they kicked out to begin with?
Apparently it was all a misunderstanding, according to the complaint.
The security guards were allegedly under orders from the homeowners association. The building had been foreclosed, but tenants claim their rent was paid.
However, the real trouble started when residents returned to their homes. They claim the guards left the units in a mess and had rifled through personal belongings. One tenant alleges naked photos of him and his girlfriend were taken.
The residents claim they never received any notice of eviction or the building's foreclosure.
Typically, under most state laws a foreclosure will wipe out a tenant's lease, regardless of the amount of time left on it. Some states (like New Jersey and New Hampshire) don't allow tenants to be evicted due to foreclosure. Section 8 tenants and some rent control tenants also get the same protection.
For everyone else, eviction is a possibility if your landlord's property is foreclosed. However, notice is still required. Under the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Act of 2009, tenants generally must be given 90 days' notice before eviction.
Here, the residents allege they weren't aware of any pending actions.
As a result of the armed foreclosure eviction, the tenants are suing for trespass, extortion, assault and battery, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, conversion and emotional distress.