Can You Imagine?
Imagine working with folks to help them find a home. You’ve spent weeks with them as you’ve helped them navigate their marketplace, got them a great deal on a home that was headed for foreclosure, and even introduced them to one of your preferred local lenders who worked out their financing. In May, you walked away from the closing table with them after they had closed on their first home, all smiles and laughs. They were ready to move in and all was right with the world … makes you feel really good about being in such a great industry.
Now imagine the feeling you’d have in the pit of your stomach as you listen to their frantic voicemails as they described coming home just a few days later to find their belongings gone. Their clothes, their furniture, the food in their pantry, even their daughter’s piggybank … gone. It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? Can’t be a true story, right?
Where’s The Stuff?
Unfortunately, it’s all true. The Dickson’s returned home from work just SEVEN DAYS after closing on their first home, located in Cedar Park TX, to find everything in their home gone. The locks had been drilled open, and they assumed everything had been stolen so they filed a police report, only to find out that everything had been “legally” removed from the home. Seems that the house, which was about to be foreclosed on when the Dickson’s put a contract on it, continued through the foreclosure process unimpeded, and the lender – EMC Mortgage Corporation – screwed it up. They flat out screwed it up, and the Dickson’s were caught in the middle. The items were removed by a property management company and donated to local thrift stores … I’m sure you’re not surprised to learn that the family has been unable to find ANY of their possessions.
How To Stop The Wheels Of Motion?
The lender has admitted fault, but – to the best of my knowledge – has not extended the olive branch beyond that. So, the Dickson’s have filed suit for EMC’s failure to return any of their property. On face value, it seems the property management group was just doing what they were hired to do – remove the items left in a home that was legally being foreclosed on. The story speaks to a larger problem though, of an industry that’s been running rampant for years with few checks and balances. Any agent who’s worked with REO properties has story after story of little-to-no communication from the banks, long delay periods and offers sitting at the banks for weeks at a time – have lenders become so bogged down in foreclosures that the wheels are coming completely off? NOT putting the home through the foreclosure process would have saved EMC far more money than it’s going to cost them, now that there’s a suit on the table. I don’t know how the Dickson’s can place a value on their family possessions – family pictures, childhood memories, perhaps personal effects from their native Nigeria – but I feel for them. I can’t imagine the shock, anger and then sadness that they’ve got to be feeling.
It’s Our Problem
Major lenders being bought out or simply going out of business, news of insolvency among Freddie and Fannie (whether true or not), suits by states against financial institutions, now lenders foreclosing on the wrong homeowners … it’s a sad state of affairs we’re seeing and we ALL have an opportunity to make it right. It’s not a THEM problem, it’s an US problem. I have no doubt that readers here are working to make their marketplaces better, but there’s still work to do. In the meantime …
If you’re so moved to donate housing items, clothing, etc. to the Dickson family, you can do so by sending it to:
Bobo and Joy Dickson
9800 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin TX 78753