The Big Lie

The Big Lie, source angryallergist.squarespace.com

It was the height of the REO and Short Sales in California in 2011 when we got a referral by a friend who had a underwater mortgage in Aptos.  The townhouse however, was not owner occupied and had tenants living in it.  After the initial phone interview to better understand the financial hardship, we developed a listing agreement and forward it for signature.

The next day we forwarded the crew to install the Real Estate For Sale sign outside and scheduled a meeting on the weekend to visit the property to complete the disclosure documents and take photos.  What followed was a rare experience in deception and manipulation that still haunts us to this day.

When we met the tenants we realized that they had no clue that the home owner and landlord was not making any mortgage payments!   What elevated this deception campaign to a new category was that  the owner wanted us to market this property to these un-suspecting tenants so they would purchase it.

Yes, that was the latest wrinkle and twist that he wanted to include in his massive deception campaign to exploit these unsuspecting tenants.  These folks would have no clue to plan their move since they would be under the impression that the home is being sold to them.

Once the owner told us about his plans and objected to our candid conversation with the tenants;  we cancelled the contract and our crew drove at 11 PM the same night to remove our sign from the property.

The moral of the story for tenants is that there are still more than 50,000 underwater mortgages in San Jose  by Wells Farog estimates.   So, if you suspect your landlord could be in financial trouble and you could be evicted, then you need to contact a Realtor who can check the status of the property for you.  If a Notice of Default has been filed on the property, then you need to have a candid conversation with your landlord.

Granted in California has now passed tenant protection laws that in case of foreclosures, tenants have up to 90 days to find a new place if they are current with their lease payments.

So, contact us if you need information about the status of your landlords mortgage.


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