Totally Screwed

Getting kicked When Your Down

Today my doorbell rang and there was a familiar face standing there when I opened the door. It was Sandy. Sandy's had a rough year. He and his wife lost their Bonita Springs home. You see, they got one of those crappy loans that just ballooned to oblivion. I watched the stress and pain on his face grow over months. It was too late to help him by the time he came to me. I didn't sell him the home or recommend the lender he used.

I tried to get him to refinance with one of my preferred, trusted lenders and he didn't do it. Long story short his mortgage consumed him and it wasn't long before he received his notice of default. The lender he has his mortgage with has absolutely no desire to renegotiate his mortgage, interest or principal. He owes about $150,000 on the home. The home has been listed as a short sale for several months and an offer has come in for $40,000 and the bank is seriously considering this offer.

Explain me this: Why would a bank put a family on the street and loose an immediate $110,000 on their investment when they could have just restructured the crappy mortgage the handed the first buyer?

It chaps me that these banks are so flipping arrogant and heartless. My hope is that when these banks ask for a government bail out people like Sandy can come forward and rat them out for what they've done to themselves. I hope there are investigations and when these banks are proven to have fraudulently sold property for pennies on the dollar when they had a different choice, they are punished swiftly. They aren't even trying.

Today, Sandy came to me for a new matter. He is looking for a rental to live in because his family is days away from being homeless. The home he found is perfect and the landlord has asked for a deposit. Unfortunately, many of Sandy's friends have given their security deposit only to have their rental get foreclosed on just weeks or months after they move in and they've lost their money. Sandy wanted me to check the property out for liens or lis pendens that could be an indication of foreclosure or bank action.

The good news is that there are ways to protect your self from loss. Since this home isn't in an association and we can't verify that the owners are current on fees or really does own the home we were able to verify that the owner is the true owner at and then we check the Lee County Clerks office to see if there have been any filings that would be red flags at

He'll proceed ahead with the rental because there didn't seem to be any issues. My advise to Sandy was to negotiate the security deposit to be as low as possible, regardless. Why? Because you never know. I gave him the Clerks website and instructed him to check the status of the home every month when he writes out his rent check to see if anything has changed.

If you think you need to check out your rental home or landlord follow some of the tools and tips here: For Sale While For Rent