Landlord's Foreclosure Could Hurt Family

Monday, November 24th 2008, 10:15 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The nation's foreclosure crisis isn't just hitting homeowners, struggling to pay the mortgage.  It's now starting to take its toll on landlords and renters are caught in the middle.  One Tulsa family says they paid their rent, but still could lose their home.

The Rasmussen's home is usually full of kids.  There are six of them, from 17 all the way down to two months.  But now, their home is stacked full of boxes.

"Just a few months and it seems like everything went wrong," said Kim Rasmussen.

Just days before Thanksgiving, they say they have no idea where they're going to live.

"We're going to be homeless," said Kim Rasmussen.

The Rasmussen's are renting their home.  And, their landlord is in foreclosure.  Court records show they were served with foreclosure papers back in July.  But, they say they never received the notices, only papers for their landlord.

"No, we're still paying rent and everything. We thought it was something with his company, because he had his own business. So, we just went about our way," said Kim Rasmussen.

The house will be auctioned off on Tuesday.  And now, they don't know where to turn.

Those at the Community Action Project say it's a story that's becoming all too familiar.  And, a growing number of renters are finding themselves in the middle of foreclosure, with their homes up for sale.

"Yeah because they're paying their rent. And, they're expecting the landlord to be paying the mortgage. And when they find out that's not happening, they're like what do I do now. What can I do?" said CAP Housing Counselor Nadine Rogers.

Rogers says renters need to do their homework on their landlords, before they ever sign on the dotted line.

"They need to interview that landlord and find out if that landlord is having financial problems and maybe ask for past renters that have rented from that landlord and find out what kind of experience they've had with them," said CAP Housing Counselor Nadine Rogers.

She also says if you find yourself in a rental home being foreclosed, you could try to buy. 

But, the Rasmussen's say they can't afford that.  The two income family is down to just one paycheck, because of a car accident.  Now, they're afraid their family of eight could end up homeless.

"We don't have anybody here. We don't have family. And, we barely have friends. And the friends we do have couldn't help us if they wanted to," said Kim Rasmussen.