Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Unwitting Denver Couple Left Holding The Bag On Recent REO Buy As Foreclosing Lender Unloads Meth-Infected Time Bomb On Young Family

In Denver, Colorado, KMGH-TV Channel 7 reports:

  • Josh and Areli LeFevre have spent tens of thousands of dollars renovating a house in the south side of Denver as a new home for their growing family. But they didn’t know the previous tenants cooked methamphetamine in the house until a neighbor brought it up. “We were just outside talking about what we were going to do to the house, and he came up to us and just told us it was a meth lab,” Areli LeFevre said.

  • The couple called their Realtor who told them the house had been cleaned up and had a certificate of the cleanup filed with the Denver Department of Environmental Health. But CALL7 Investigators retested the house, finding it still tested positive for the drugs. The attic was 10 times over what the state regulations say are acceptable.

  • The LeFevres are at a loss for what to do. "We’re just concerned about it because we have a baby,” Areli said. "We live here. I’m trying to get pregnant again so we’re just mad about it."

  • An expert, who testified about meth contamination and clean up at the General Assembly when lawmakers passed the regulations in 2006, said the state certification process does not ensure a house is safe to inhabit. The owner of a meth house must have it cleaned and then that company certifies that the property is safe for people to inhabit. A certificate of the cleanup is filed with the county. But the county never verifies the house was properly cleaned up because the legislature never provided funding to check the houses. And the seller doesn’t have to notify a buyer that there was a meth lab in the house because it is certified as cleaned up.

  • The LeFevres’ house wasn’t the only one meth testing consultant CaoimhĂ­n Connell found was certified cleaned but still had high levels of meth residue.


  • The LeFevres’ house was a foreclosure they bought from a bank, and Connell said the banks often have an incentive to get the affidavit and sell the house whether it’s safe or not.

  • "My experience is that if (it's) a foreclosure and banks want to move that along, they’re hoping to get someone to issue a letter and say it’s OK even when it’s not OK," Connell said. (Sellers) "hold up that affidavit and say we’re off the hook, we did our best and (the affidavit) may never be seen again."(1)

For more, see Meth May Remain In Homes After Certified Cleaning (CALL7 Investigators Find Meth In Home Despite Certificate With City Saying It's Clean).

(1) For other stories relating to the unwitting purchase of homes infected with methamphetamine residue, see:

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