Help me please!

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Submitted by marion on October 26, 2007 - 3:35pm

Hi, I'm looking for opinions/suggestions. Here's my problem. I've been renting my current home in the Inland Empire for almost 3 years. Well, after 2 years on a lease, the owner didn't have me renew the lease so I'm on a month to month. Here's my problem though: The owner is having/or has had financial problems. The first mortagage holder on this property filed a notice of default and it was going into foreclosure but the second mortgage holder brought the loan current so they wouln't lose out on their investment (The owner has a second on this house for 38,000 dollars). Now here's where this gets ridiculous:

The second mortgage holder is his mother (it's her company). But, she didn't put up the money for the second personally. She got it from a private investor. The owner (her son) says his mother owes him money, hence he will not pay the mortgage and is forcing the mother to pay each month to keep the loan up. Well, the mother has begun forclosure proceedings because the second is now in default. The owner tells me don't worry, he has hired an attorney and his mother will be blocked from forclosing on this property. Well, I'm caught in the middle. The mother has sent me an "assignment of rents" and asked me to pay her the rent money. The son tells me to ignore the mother and continue to pay him the rent (but he's not paying either the first mortgage or the second). He promises me things will be ok and I'll continue to have a place to live.

So, what do I do? Do I keep my money and live here until him mother forecloses? If so, he might evict me. Do I just not pay him on the first of the month and find someone else to live? Do I pay him mother or him? Do I stay or do I go? The mother has been calling me almost in tears telling me how wrong her son is doing her. The son is telling me his mother is a snake. I'm sick of it all!

What would you guys do?

Submitted by The OC Scam on November 3, 2007 - 10:27pm.

Yes to SDrealtor I still think squatters are cool we live on the edge!! lol

Submitted by marion on November 3, 2007 - 10:40pm.

SD Realtor, here is my mindset: First, I am in no position to be a squatter and own this home. I don't have the downpayment or the income needed right now. I would not buy it even if I was in such a position because I do not like the layout, there aren't enough rooms or bathrooms(3 bed, 2 ba). In addition, there are zero upgrades to the house: cheap linoleum on the floors, tile on the kitchen countertops, cheap fixtures, cheap carpet. The master bath doesn't even have a bathtub (shower only).

I am reluctant to leave because my youngest son has established friendships here, and likes the school. If I leave this house, I leave the neighborhood because I only like to rent and buy new homes/apartments. There is nothing new in this neighborhood.

I was going to move eventually because of the above and the fact that the neighbors are trash. Recently the next door neighbor's grown, unemployed son was in his garage playing with a dog and certain facial expressions made him look more animal than the animal itself (serious).

I cannot find any new homes on craigslist for what I pay here. I pay $1400 per month.

So, I will have to uproot my boys and they will have to get used to a new environment if I move. Also, we will have to live in an apartment and not a house for the time being (a year at least) until I can get something else. I'm looking into options given to me by Raybyrnes and I will be able to get into a single family home or condo in a year to two years regardless if the prices keep dropping.

Bottomline: My son is what I'm worried about. I hate uprooting the kids again. It's bothering me alot.

If I knew the owner would prevail against the mother, I could stay here longer for my child. But, I do NOT want to rent from that woman. Knowing her nature by way of conversation, she would probably evict me and I'm sure raise the rent to at least $1500.

Guilt (my son) is driving me here.

Submitted by marion on November 3, 2007 - 10:50pm.

I guess I need to make a decision and make one fast.

For those of you who own your own homes, you're lucky.

I don't trust anything the owner says, and I don't trust anything his mother says. I am trying to think about my son. I'm not in a good place right now.

Submitted by barnaby33 on November 3, 2007 - 10:53pm.

Marion, I own nothing. I rent in Northpark and have never owned a property in my life. I have also never, ever, defaulted on a debt. There are too many people using situations, like yours, to avoid their own responsibility. For each month you live there, you pay rent to the person you signed a deal with. When and if the courts determine that has changed, then you deal with that situation. No amount of threatening or insulting phone calls/letters changes that. If the situation is that bad, move out. If not keep paying rent to the person you signed a lease with.

Sure, there are always reasons why to you it sounds reasonable to not pay. They aren't reasonable. You asked for opinions, I gave you mine. I have no vested interest in whether you pay, except my belief in following through on obligations. As long as you live there, you owe rent.

Your whole argument rests on the case that because other people are abrogating their agreements, you should be able to abrogate yours. hmmmm, that doesn't sound right, reasonable, or mature.


Submitted by marion on November 3, 2007 - 11:11pm.

Ok, I'll pay him. My son is what I'm thinking about and I'd like to know if the owner will eventually get the property so I can have a reasonable basis for a decision on whether to stay or go.

Not only that, but I'm sure you all know that if the house does forclose 3 months from now, I'm throwing away my money.

Ok, Josh...You talk about reasonable and mature. How about practical? It's not practical to throw away money on a house going into foreclosure. That's the exact reason the broker told me to FRIG IT and don't pay the owner another dime.

I'd be interested in seeing how "moral and reasonable" you can be knowing you have to tell your child you have to move.

Submitted by SD Realtor on November 3, 2007 - 11:18pm.

Marion it does sound like a tough situation. I don't have any easy answer for you and definitely I wish you the best of luck no matter what direction you take. As a parent I understand the reluctance to uproot the kids. Having moved 3 times in the last 2 years with 2 kids I know it totally sucks. Mine are toddlers so at least uprooting them is not a problem at this point. With older kids I would imagine it is way worse.

I guess whatever your attorney advises you to do is the best recourse.

Submitted by marion on November 3, 2007 - 11:51pm.

To all, sorry for the emotional tirades. I'm fed up and tired.

SD Realtor, I really don't want to stay here and will probably just go anyway. My son would have had to go anyway because I won't buy this place.

So, I will take it on a day by day basis since I don't have a lease. The apartment I want will not be available until Dec. 1st anyway. I guess I will just pay him while I'm here and if it forecloses, money down the drain.

What about holding the rent in escrow. How do I do that? Just put it in my own bank account and hold it? I'd be more comfortable doing that. But, can the son still evict me?

If I can hold the money and the mother forecloses, wouldn't that mean I keep the money since my debt to the orignal owner will be wiped out? But, if he prevails, I give him the money when the notice of default is satisfied. From what I understand that is what a couple of posters suggested.

Is this the purpose of an escrow account? Or is this morally reprehensible too. ;)

I just do NOT want to pay this man money to go into his pocket if he's going to let the house foreclose. That is my mindset in a nutshell and I don't think it's unreasonable.

Submitted by Raybyrnes on November 4, 2007 - 12:15am.

SD Realtor

I'm with you. Can't get my head around any logic that one should not pay.

Marian. Don't see how you can make a statement that you are throwing money away. You have recieved a service and are responisible for paying.

I walked out of Target with a Football one day that my son put in the shopping cart and I didn't realize it until I got to the car. Was I throwing money away when I walked back into the store and put the ball back?

Maybe I should assume that they are misleading shareholders and cooking the books so maybe I should have just kept it.

Submitted by Critter on November 4, 2007 - 6:26am.

An escrow account is, by definition, a hands-off account. It can't be your own bank account. What would prevent you from grabbing the money?

Nor can it be an account that the landlord could access. The money is safe until a legal entity decides who receives it. Perhaps OC Scam can let us know how his/her escrow account was set up.

As far as "throwing away your money" is the house is foreclosed on in three months... you are paying to have a roof over your head NOW, so this is not a valid issue. The service you are paying for is being provided, therefore, you need to pay the full amount in a timely fashion, and not with caveats on your part.

If it is that uncomfortable for you to be there start researching alternatives. But by all means - the rental agreement you signed is still your responsibility.

All this said, I think you are on the right track by putting your situation on a blog and getting answers from all directions. Your concern is your son - who will probably absorb some valuable life lessons by how this is handled.

Submitted by The OC Scam on November 4, 2007 - 11:25am.

The escrow account can be a money market account if you wish but as others implied you can pull money out as you want very freely. My loan officer friend agreed to put the money into a escrow account for us with the intent to hold until the foreclosure was over I sent the rent to the loan officer every month. When the process was over I took out some money to start a new lease, pay first months rent and the rest of the money had been sitting in the account with some going to Lawyer fees.

Marion you do not want to be in the middle anymore find another home. I have three kids and I know it is very difficult however children will grow and adapt. My parents moved many times when I was growing up and none of my siblings turned out to bad except me! Your parenting is what matters here not changing homes. Good Luck I wish you guys the best in finding a new home!

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