Local/State

Renter nearly forced from home

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's a problem I'm hearing about a lot these days - renters who pay on time, but find they're living in homes that are being foreclosed on.

Shavannah Moore says it happened to her and her family.

"We're coming to padlock your door on Wednesday," she said she learned from a foreclosure notice. "What am I gonna do? I was pulling my hair out because I literally didn't know if I was gonna wake up and Wednesday and not have anywhere to stay."

Moore said she had just paid the rent to her landlord days before. She called him right away and said he told her his lawyer had taken care of it. But it wasn't taken care of.  When Moore called the number listed on the foreclosure notice, she learned the home her family has been renting has been in the foreclosure process for many months, and was foreclosed on a month earlier.

"You're taking our money. You're not even the owner of the property, but you're steady taking our money," she said of the landlord.

Moore said she spent hours on the phone pleading with the realty company who was handling the property for the bank to let her stay in the home.

"We want to stay here. That's why we continue paying our rent," she said.

Thanks to the 2009 Foreclosure Act, Moore is protected.  She was able to stay in her home through the end of her lease, but says it's still been a stressful ordeal, and something she doesn't want other renters to have to go through.

"Just be more careful. When you're renting from people, make sure you do a thorough background check on who you're renting from," she offered. "If it's too good to be true, then nine times out of ten it is. Because I know we've had issues in the past with our credit and whatever. When we moved in here, we literally just filled out an application, gave it to him, he gave us the keys. It was that simple."

Moore is not alone, as I have heard from several renters over the past few months that have been paying rent, only to come home one day and have the foreclosure notice on their door.

You're not always protected. The best advice is when you start seeing any foreclosure notices arrive in the mail, or letters from the bank, don't ignore them.  Also, make sure you get receipts of rent payment each month, this way you can prove you've been paying your rent, despite the mortgage not being paid.

And if you have a consumer complaint, or need the Troubleshooter to get involved, send an email to troubleshooter@abc11mail.com  or reach out on Twitter at DwilsonABC11, or on Facebook at TroubleshooterDianeWilsonWtvd.

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