Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fannie Screw-Up Leads To Sale Of Occupied REO; Tenant In Possession Refuses To Move Until Expiration Of 90-Day Notice, Leaving Homebuyer 'Homeless'

In Lithonia, Georgia, WSB-TV Channel 2 reports:

  • Officials with government mortgage giant Fannie Mae said they're investigating a DeKalb foreclosure sale gone horribly wrong. The new buyer can't move in because a renter won't move out. Channel 2's Jim Strickland was there when they clashed in the driveway.

  • "This signifies that I actually own this property. That means it belongs to me," said Katrice Elliott as she displayed the closing papers. Elliott said she bought the home of Princeton Park Drive in Lithonia two weeks ago. Fannie Mae is the listed seller.

  • Fannie Mae's renter suddenly showed up, and Strickland greeted him. "I'm doing a story here with Ms. Elliott about the fact she owns this home and you're living in it," Strickland told the renter.

  • "That's a wonderful thing," replied four-year tenant Drew Walker. "I wish you no harm or ill toward you, Ms. Elliott. However, the law's on my side in this case," Walker said.

  • Strickland confirmed a 2009 federal law gives foreclosure tenants 90 days' notice to move after a sale. "The management company issued a leave the property order July 15th. If you count July 15th, 90 days is Oct. 15th. Not now," Walker said.

  • "Well, who are you paying for rent?" Elliott asked in a heated exchange with the tenant. "Nobody. I don't have an agreement with you," replied Walker.

  • In a second complication, Elliott's loan agreement with HUD said she has to live in the home within 30 days of purchase, or it's a federal crime. "Fannie Mae is now telling me it's my problem," Elliot told Strickland.

  • Elliott gave Strickland an email from a Fannie Mae staffer, who instructs a local management company: "Please discontinue all efforts with the tenant. The agent should not have closed with the tenant in the property. The property is disposed."

  • Walker said she found validation in the email. "Technically they should (not) have sold it while I was in there, but they did and they are admitting culpability. And (Elliott's) there calling me a squatter and every other thing," Walker said.

  • Strickland was still awaiting a call back from a Fannie Mae representative authorized to speak with the media at the time of this posting.

For the story, see Tenant, owner get in heated exchange over foreclosure.

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