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Foreclosures: Renters Have No Protection

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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
Deb Manuma, 49, is living in the Beacon Hillhouse for over 6 years with her daughter, niece and sister. As a renter of the said house, she has been a consistent on-time payer. Never had she imagined that the unit she and her family are renting is now considered a foreclosure property.

Manuma received a foreclosure notice addressed to Remigio Balingit, the owner of the house she is renting. After reading the letter, she immediately called Mel Mercado, the nephew and property manager of Balingit. She told Mercado that the unit she is renting appears to be facing foreclosure.

Mercado assured her that there is nothing to worry about. The owner is just out of the country and bank wires for payments just got crossed. Mercado also assured Manuma that the house not being considered as a foreclosure home. Manuma, seeking assurance, asked for a written notice from Mercado which the latter later gave.

A letterhead by American Eagle Properties was handed to Manuma on April 2, 2008. It read that Manuma has been the house’s tenant since March 2007. It also cited that Manuma never missed rent payments. Although the letter is not really pertinent to the situation, Manuma still felt assured.

Manuma ignored the first foreclosure letter and went on paying her monthly rent of $1,700 to Balingit. However, after several months, she received a second foreclosure notice. It informed her of her eviction from the foreclosure home. Manuma immediately contacted Mercado but the latter is not answering her calls.

The situation might have been easy if Manuma had an above-average credit line. She was not able to get financing and nor does she and her family have the cash to buy a new house. The fact that she always paid rent on time cannot improve her credit standing.

Under Washington law, the lease that Manuma signed is only valid with the original order. When banks or mortgage companies take over foreclosure properties, any lease would automatically become void. Manuma and her family have no other choice but to leave the house. As of today, Manuma is still looking for a place that she and her family can afford.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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