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Nightmare on L-Street

11th January 2009

Dave

Over the last year or so, we’ve heard countless horror stories of families losing their homes in foreclosure due to unscrupulous lending practices, losing jobs to the poor economy, or catastrophic illness causing financial hardship. This is NOT one of those stories.

The confirmation hearing was set for 3 weeks after the auction. During this time it became apparent that someone was still living in the house. On several drive by’s we noticed cars, motorcycles, and a flatbed trailer come and gone. On one occasion, we noticed a faint light shining through the front window. At this point we weren’t too worried, we assumed the previous owners were in the process of moving out. We did some more research and discovered the owners had divorced within the previous 2 years so we assumed the wife and kids had custody of the house. We began to worry that we would be part of one of those stories where a single mom and her 3 kids were kicked to the street. Once again this is NOT one of those stories, however it is equally as sad.

The confirmation hearing went without a hitch on Tuesday morning. Wednesday afternoon, I went to the Sheriffs Office to pick up the deed just as I did the year before. It turned out that they had made some procedural changes, and I would have to wait a couple of days. We decided to wait until we had the deed before we attempted to enter the property, but we kept a very close watch on the property in the mean time.

I finally got the deed recorded that Thursday and immediately went to the property. I had written up a letter introducing myself and partner to the current resident. I explained that we now owned the property and would be happy to assist them in the transition. The letter requested that whoever was living there call us to let us know how we could help. While placing the letter in the door, a neighbor happened to be leaving her house. I went over and introduce myself and handed her a business card. She informed me that a single man lived in the house. She let me know how unhappy her family was with the previous owner. It would take me another couple of weeks to find out the scope of the neighbors complaints.

On Sunday I received a call from the previous owner. He gave me a hard luck story, which I knew to be untrue, and asked for a few weeks to move out. I told him that I would give him a week, as long as he kept me informed on his progress. Over the next few days it became apparent he was making no attempt to move out so I began to research the eviction process. I decided I would need the assistance of an attorney. I’ll skip the details on the eviction process, but hiring an attorney was definitely the way to go. I had an judgment several weeks later and finally had access to the property. Entering the property for the first time was a complete shock. I leave it with that said and just show a few picks. The picts really don’t give a clue to the enormity of the trash and filth but it is a start.

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This was actually one of the better rooms.

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This was another room I could get to. There were other areas of the house that it would take over a week to move enough trash where I could inspect the room.

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Neighbors told me that they had not been able to use there back yards for 2 years due to the stinch and mosquitoes. The city had started proceedings to get the place cleaned up but the process was slow. We would get the yard cleaned up as soon as possible to avoid paying the impending fines as well as to please the neighbors.

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