Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hotline Happy Endings...

Since 2009, Tenants Together has helped over 7,500 tenants in foreclosure situations know and assert their rights. Recently, we have had more and more calls from tenants in Fannie Mae-owned properties getting the runaround. Real estate agents representing Fannie Mae regularly give tenants invalid or confusing notices to quit, pressure tenants to accept cash-for-keys deals, and refuse to give tenants proof of ownership. Tenants who have been dutifully paying their rent have to deal with their whole lives being turned upside-down. This is fundamentally unfair, and through our hotline we help empower tenants to demand better outcomes for them and their families. 

Wendy—Sonoma County
Wendy first called our Tenant Foreclosure Hotline in the Fall of 2011 because she discovered her landlord was in default. We advised her on her general rights and what to expect if her rental went into foreclosure. After foreclosure Wendy dealt with a Fannie Mae representative who misled Wendy on their stated policy to continue to rent to tenants. In the Fall of 2012, Fannie Mae issued her an eviction notice. With help from our counselors, she was able to negotiate a cash-for-keys agreement that was on her terms. Wendy said, “I have been relying on Tenants Together for advice as a tenant who was facing foreclosure… Every single person that I spoke with offered helpful information… I simply could not have survived and triumphed without your guidance.” 

Tony—Fresno County
Tony called our hotline because he was given a 30, 60, or 90 day notice to move out by a real estate agent representing Fannie Mae (with this kind of confusing notice it is left to the tenant to figure out which time period applies to them). Tony was also confused because there were multiple agents claiming to represent Fannie Mae. After a couple counseling sessions on our hotline, Tony responded in writing to Fannie Mae asking for a clear point of contact. With further help, Tony successfully pushed back against his notice to move and was able to negotiate a year lease with Fannie Mae. He is currently working out the details of the agreement, but we are happy he’s met his goal of being able to stay in his home as long as possible!

If you or someone you know is a tenant in a foreclosure situation please have them call our hotline at 888.495.8020 to speak with one of our trained volunteer counselors.