Renters Are Often Victims in a Foreclosure

For the third time in as many years we are once again facing an unplanned move due to foreclosure. However, we are renters. Myself and my two teenage daughters in their senior year of high school are forced to move again in the middle of a school year. I am disabled, on social security; and the child support is delinquent. We barely get by, let alone afford moving without warning and incurring new deposits and moving costs.

We have diligently paid our rent on time and the owner of our home has cashed our rent checks but failed to make the mortgage payments on the house we live in. So we have been notified at the very last minute we must vacate. We do not get our deposits back. We do not get compensated for moving expenses. We are the ones that pay the price for the property owner’s delinquency despite our diligence in paying our rent.

There is something criminal about property owners that take money from renters, including deposits and other fees and squander it; then let the house foreclose out from under the tenants without any conscience whatsoever. The property owner is never the one that notifies us of the foreclosure or that we have to vacate. As a matter of fact we never hear from the owner again. It is ultimately the mortgage company or some authority that comes and gives us the order to vacate.

We are treated as though we are criminals or something even though we did nothing wrong. There is no compassion or compensation. I am a disabled, single woman with minor children and they treat me like a criminal and order me out at my own expense when I kept up my end of the contract. I realize it is “just business” but I am not the one that failed. I am not the one at fault.

I have no recourse against these property owners. Despite real estate laws that indicate security deposit fees are to be held in escrow type accounts so they are not squandered, it isn’t enforced. I can attempt small claims court but even a victory never ensures collecting; especially when the property owner lives out of state.

Perhaps there should be some way that renters’ payments go directly to mortgage companies when a property still has a mortgage. I would have happily paid rent directly to the mortgage companies in any of these cases to have avoided having to relocate. If there was any balance on the rent, I could have sent that to the property owner.

Property owners are making a profit off renters that are unknowingly paying diligently thinking they are ensuring themselves a place to live only to have that security pulled out from under them without warning. There should be some sort of penalty for property owners that conduct such underhanded business practices.

Other fraudulent business transactions have recourse in many cases that include criminal charges. Taking money from people in this manner is clearly stealing and should be treated as such.

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