Archive for Tenants in Foreclosure

Tenants in Foreclosure- Are they really out of foreclosure?

Now settling into my new home I am beginning to get back into my normal Sunday routine of drinking my coffee and reading the paper. There are only a few sections that I read; the front page, the business section and the travel section.

Brent Hunsberger has two great articles today. The article on the front page, Hundreds of Foreclosure Sales Halted caught by eye because the home that I recently rented and recently moved out of was in foreclosure.

The article talks about how lenders have withdrawn hundreds of foreclosure sales since February after there have been several questions on the legality of the process.

After months of my calling the trustee several times to continually hear that the home I was renting was still in foreclosure and then finding the day that I closed on the purchase of a new home that the case was closed. I was so surprised since by my estimation the home had a negative equity of approximately $200,000. I couldn’t image how the landlords who now lived out of state would be able to maintain this as a viable rental. Still, after hearing that the foreclosure case was withdrawn I assumed they must have worked something out with the bank. Now I’m questioning that. Do you think it was one of the homes that Bank of America withdrew?

Tenants in Foreclosure- The Final Chapter

Oh this feels so good! I’m happy to have this be my last in the Tenants in Foreclosure series which I’ve been living and writing about since last April. We officially moved into our new home last weekend. We are moving out the remaining items we have in our rental and will do our final cleaning.

On the 5th of February I called the trustee to find that the auction of the home was postponed by only two weeks until the 18th. I decided that I wouldn’t run the risk and only paid for rent through the 18th of the month. Upon follow up of the auction the trustee informed me that the home was no longer up for auction at all. It appears the landlords may have been able to work out some sort of modification.

So all’s well that ends well right?

Tenants in Foreclosure- Feb

I called the Trustee on Friday to see if my home got auctioned and come to find that it again was postponed. The different aspect this time though was they only postponed it by two weeks where all of the previous dates have been 30 or more days out. So I was posed with a questions….Do I pay for a full month’s rent or do I just pay for the 18 days that I know they will own the home?

We decided that it would be best to prorate the rent and pay for the 18 days that we know they will own the home and then on the 18th of the month we’ll call again to see if it was auctioned. I’m think this has to be coming to a close soon since it has been in foreclosure since April of last year and this time they only postponed the sale by 2 weeks. I did let the landlords know why I did not pay the full rent and did not receive a response from them.

More to come later in the month.

Purchasing a home with permit issues

Its official, we are in escrow! We found a house to purchase and will get to soon leave our foreclosure nightmare behind. On Sunday I notified the landlords that we would be moving out and it felt so good. I also let them know that again I would be calling to make sure the home was not sold at auction on Feb 4th before paying the February rent.

That asked that we be sure to leave the house nice and have the carpets clean. Really? Of course we will leave the house in good repair, but it just irks me hearing them dictate what I need to do after all of the grief they have put us through these last 10 months.

It’s been a hard search finding the right how. Yes, there are a lot of homes on the market, but many are vacant and need repairs. When you are already putting 20% down on the home it’s hard to be able to find additional funds to repair the home.

The home we found is perfect for us and will make us happy for many years to come. There are some areas of concern that we have had to address during this process though. The first being that the home behind our new home is a foreclosure sale and is for sale for $180,000 less than the home we are purchasing. The home is slightly larger with a smaller less usable lot and needs some repairs, but still this is a large concern that our home’s value will decrease right after we move in due to the sale of this home. There really is nothing we can do about this, but with the market we are in it’s very unsettling.

The second issue that we have had to deal with is that the home we are purchasing was recently remodeled and there may be some permit issues. Most of the repairs were done by the homeowner and it appears that the permits may have been forced by the county because the work was being done by the homeowner without permits. The permits were closed out just days before the home was put on the market after being open for nearly 3 years.

Of course I did not think to look into this until our inspection came back with several electrical issues. I spoke with several inspectors at the county to find our more information. I encourage you do this if you ever have questions. They are very easy to reach and very helpful. I was able to find out about all of the permits and complaints filed on the home by going to It lists all of the inspectors that were assigned to the permit and gives their phone number. I asked the electrical inspector how the home could pass inspection with so many items not being up to code. I was told by one inspector that there was over two years from when he saw the electrical work and gave the okay to drywall over. He said that there was a great potential that more was done in that time that he would not have seen at the final inspection time because everything was closed over.

I asked if the homeowner doing these repairs on his own left us open for any liability and he said that when you purchase a home you purchase any permit issues that may arise even if we did not initiate or do the work.

Did you know that when you purchase a home you are also purchasing any permitting issues the home may have?

My friend was a contractor and had a customer who had recently purchased the home and was doing some plumbing which required a county inspector. When the inspector came out he noticed that the home had a finished basement, but this was not on file with the county. All of the work had been done without permits. The customer had to hire my friend to rip out the entire basement and start all over bringing the whole thing up to code. It cost him about $30,000. He did not realize that when the box on the disclosures said that some repairs had been done without permits that it would mean he’d be open to such a huge liability. Yikes!

Tenants in Foreclosure- January Update

Tenants in Foreclosure- January Update

Well, I feel like I should just copy and paste any of my posts from the last several months because it’s all the same. The auction date for the sale of the home I live in and rent has once again been postponed a month.

The day after Christmas my husband, daughter and I were all in the family room playing rockband and having a great time enjoying what Santa brought when I look out the window to find a strange car pulling up to the home and snapping photos. Really? You can’t take the Christmas weekend off?

The next day the landlord sent an email informing us that they are approaching the end of their modification period and the bank is doing its final review so not to be surprised if somebody comes by. I guess he didn’t realize that we’ve been living with theses monthly drive byes.

The landlord again was kind enough to again send a “friendly reminder” that the rent was due by the 5th. I had to fight by the urge to give a snide remark letting her know that the reason the rent is not being paid on the 1st as it was for a year before we fell into the situation they caused is because we have to wait and see if the home is sold. We have to spend our time calling the trustee to see if the landlord is in fact entitled to the rent.

So, I hope to have a better update soon since they are supposed to be near the end of the modification process. I really can’t fathom how this is going to work out for them since by my estimation they are about $200,000 underwater.

Tenants in Foreclosure- December Update

With this going on for eight months now, I bet you are all losing interest right? My home, which I rent, has been in foreclosure since April is never going to sell right? By now, I have no idea.

The last sale date that was given by the trustee was December 3rd. On the 5th my landlord gave me a “friendly reminder” that my rent was due. I called the trustee to find that the sale date has been postponed once again with a new sale date of January 3rd.

Quite honestly I wish the bank would just auction off the house already. If it did sell at auction then I would no longer have a rental agreement with my landlords and could quit paying them money each month. I have no idea where the money I’m sending it going and that really bothers me.

Based on the research I’ve done if the home did sell at auction the rental agreement would become void. It would be up to the bank or new owners to work out a new agreement with us. They might even offer the “cash for keys” which I’ve heard so much about and since we plan to move anyway, why shouldn’t we benefit a bit from the whole ordeal? If it did sell then how long would it take for the bank or the new owners to contact us? From what I’m hearing it’s taking quite a while for anything to be done on these foreclosed homes. So until that happened I’d have nobody that I owed rent to. Doesn’t sound like a bad deal to me!

If only it had sold at the beginning of December. That would have made for some extra funds for my Christmas shopping

Tenants in Foreclosure- Story gets national attention

My blog has now sparked interest from national media!

A couple of weeks ago I was awoken as my phone rang at 6am with an unfamiliar out of town phone number. So I did what any reasonable person would do and let the call go to voicemail. Later when I came into the office and listened to my work voicemail (yes, I transfer all of my work calls to my cell) I found a voicemail from Kelli Grant from Smart Money waiting for me.  Grant was intrigued by my story which Brent Hunsberger wrote about in the November 7th Oregonian article, Surprise! Renters in foreclosure have rights, and let me know that she wanted to include some quotes from me in her upcoming 10 things article.

After returning to my office this morning after a long holiday weekend I find a Google Alter email letting me know my name appeared in her recent article, 10 Things Your Landlord Won’t Tell You. Go figure, the #1 thing was “This building is in foreclosure.”

I have to say I love the national media attention, but do wish that it was for a different reason. Reading Grant’s article I was truly shocked to read that “Renters accounted for 40% of families facing eviction from foreclosure in 2009, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.”

No update from me on my situation. The next scheduled date for the home I live in to be sold at auction is this Friday December 3rd. I’ll be sure to update you once I’ve called the trustee to get an update.

What do you think is happening? Do you think the home is really being modified? Is the bank just postponing the sale date for some reason to benefit them? Have the homeowners have filed bankruptcy causing the delay?

Tenants in Foreclosure-Nov 5 update

Good news!  My story has sparked the interest of Brent Hunsberger from the Oregonian while we met for coffee on Monday.  He immediately went back to his editor and asked to write about tenants in foreclosure.  So this weekend you’ll find Brent’s article focusing on tenants in foreclosure.

I figured that warranted a timely update to the blog.  The most recent sale date of the home I rent and live is was November 3rd.  It was funny, this week Brent and I met for another coffee meeting on Wednesday and as we were talking we realized that my house could at that moment be in the process of being auctioned on the county steps.  He was waiting for a reaction from me on this, but I told him I really didn’t have one.  This was the third date I had been given by the trustee that the home would be auctioned.

Quite honestly I didn’t even get around to calling the trustee to find out the outcome until last night and that was only because Brent followed up with me.  Well… got postponed to December 3rd.  That means my landlords are entitled to the November rent and they were sure to email me this morning letting me know rent was due.  I didn’t even bother to respond to them.  I just transferred the funds into their bank.

I’ve really become so bitter over the whole thing.  Early on in the process I thought I might want to buy the house myself, but now there’s no way I’d want to.

Tenants in Foreclosure- Oct 29 update

Tenants in Foreclosure- update
It’s that time of month again where I pay my bills that are due on the 1st and of them the rent is always at the top of the list. Still, when you rent a home that is in foreclosure you cannot just automatically pay it like you normally would. For the last six months I have had to deal with the uneasiness of wondering when I’m going to be asked to move out of my home because of the landlords allowing it to go into foreclosure.

As I’m getting ready to get an update on the foreclosure someone drives up to my home and stares at it out their window, writes down some notes on a clipboard and snaps a photo. I’m quite sure they were hired by the bank to see if the home was still occupied and in good repair. Still, this is a very unsettling feeling to know that someone is watching you.

So today I made my (what now has become monthly) call to the trustee to find out who is entitled to my rent payment. When I called last month they said the foreclosure was on hold and the sale date was postponed to Nov 3rd. Today…no change. So I will wait to pay the rent and call back next week after the 3rd.

November 3rd is the third date that has been listed for the home to be sold at auction. Still, I have only ever received two pieces of mail from the bank or trustee and those were both last Spring notifying me that the home was to be sold at the end of August.

The new legislations requires that a tenant is notified when I home is in foreclosure, but why isn’t it required for them to update me on the status. It would seem that if the sale date was changed the tenant who lives in the home would again need to be notified.

Why doesn’t the bank provide resources for the tenant? Why is it now my responsibility to find out if the landlord actually has a right to my rent payment?

I’ve come to dislike and feel uncomfortable in my home. Still, finding a new place to call home is proving to be just as frustrating. I’ll write about that soon.

Tenants in Foreclosure- October update

Tenants in Foreclosure- Update
I decided it was bad form to keep you all hanging for another month on what is happening with the home I rent which is in foreclosure. Last I updated you all I let you know that the auction was on hold but had a sale date of October 4th (the 2nd sale date we’ve been given). I called on September 29th to see if the status had changed and it had not. I emailed the landlords to see if they had any updates, they said they did not and they were not even award of the October 4th auction date. I called again on October 1 because rent was due and it still said that it was scheduled to be auctioned at the county steps the following Monday October 4th. Well, it seemed silly to pay rent to the landlords if there was the possibility that the home would be sold in a couple of days and they would no longer own it. So I didn’t pay the rent since it technically was not considered late and accrued a late fee until October 6th.
On October 5th I got an email from the landlord reminding me that rent was due and would be late if I didn’t pay that day. I called the trustee’s automated system and found out that once again the sale date had been postponed, this time till the beginning of November. So again we wait….