Before you spend money on an attorney, you have rights under the California Landlord Tenant law. I've attached a link you should look over and see how it addresses your situation. Should the property sell at auction, you will likely have some time to move, but I know that's not what you wanted.
Where you feel you've been misled by an agent, you may be able to make life difficult for her. You can start by contacting her broker and if necessary the local MLS, Local Board of Realtors if she is a member or State Licensing Office.
Give her and or her broker a chance to do something before you escalate, it could be beneficial to everyone.
In fact, it's happening right now to my Fiancee, and she is unsure who to pay, in Los Angelese, California.
If you need assistance, contact Your county housing department to file a complaint or obtain information on your specific situation.
Here on Trulia, we are agents not attorneys or city employees so it's hard to advise on legal issues. Contact your county and the will advise you on your options and provide you options on how to respond to this situation.
If you have owner representations in writing its going to be hard to win anything. Many tenats quit paying when they learn the home is on its way to foreclosure so It's good that you are honoring your end of the bargain. The sale date is certainly problematic but most banks will not foreclose if they have an open file, the problem you have is that if this owner has been less than forthcoming with you, who says they are being forthcoming with the bank? Next time make a friend with a title rep and on the next property ask them to check public records to see if the owner has equity, when they bought the home, when they last refi'd and it will be pretty clear who the reputable owners are and are not.
The good news is that if the bank does foreclose you will get your deposit back (there a big damages if you don't) plus the bank will give you a check to move...
As an agent your landlord is expected to know the law. Unfortunately not all agents or Brokers for the matter are up to speed on the laws.
California renters has certain rights. Any lease for longer than a year must be in writing. Even thought there is a scheduled sale date, it is possible the owner can have that postponed.
If the home owner doesn't have money to pay her mortgage I doubt that there is much to sue for so keep this in mind.
The home owner mortgage documents may have language which authorizes her bank to receive any rent money.
So with all this information you can see that this can be a sticky situation. The short of it is that at some point you may need to move and that may be where you could focus your energy.
The best thing for you to do in my opinion is get some free and/or cheap LOCAL legal advice.. call the City of Oakland Rent Arbitration Board: They are free, they know the local law, and will give you some basic advice as well as suggest resources. I would see what they say and also consider calling either John Gutierrez or Frederick Hertz, local based attorneys who specialize in Real Estate Law.
It is an owner's obligation to inform tenants the property is in default, and there is the question of whether it is legal for the owner to continue to accept rent when they are not paying their mortgage. That is a problem for the bank to sort out. In terms of your situation, I would again strongly advise you to get legal help, and not rely strictly what realtors are telling you. A practical question for you- if you have a case against your landlord, that does not mean you are necessarily going to collect any money. This is someone who is in default. You may be able to stop paying rent, or put money in an escrow acct. for the bank. You need to get the full scoop from an attorney about LOCAL law, and protect yourself and know your options. Good luck.