Stockton, CA
June 30th, 2020|

A place on Orwood St. was owned by a single lineage till 2019 when foreclosure stole it from a family of four. My family (currently in occupation) came to call this property home in January 2017 after battling homelessness and separation for approximately 3yrs. As we were just getting on our feet from unemployment, and the rent prices were increasing, we would find ourselves back into an emotional overload. The employer that made it possible for me to reunite with my family after 2+yrs of living vagrant terminated me for basically being homeless.

We (me, wife & 10yr old son) slept outside a motel 6 that we had been living in about 2mos. My wife called a friend, who months prior had asked me help remodel his trailer, to ask if the trailer was livable. The trailer needing dry rot repair would after three days of work would be habitable, and what became a $300 investment would ground us with more than bargained for. The trailer lay next door from our friends property onto another man’s property, and us without a vehicle to pull it away fell into the duel part of our blessings. The man whose property the trailer rested on invited us to a lease agreement. That put him as well us at ease. The man had been living with his 3 dogs and 3’ball python for two years after losing his girlfriend to cancer. He offered affordable occupancy and shared utilities. $405 a month on a $509 mortgage HELPED us both out.

Our new landlord gave appreciation to my family and asked to write a lease that would reasonably allow time for personal financial repair and ability to take over the property in our names. We were honored and driven to do all that was necessary as we agreed to a 6yr lease with option. The lease would allow for employment, credit repair, and savings for the last year as we’d be carried into mortgaging our first home. Then January 2019, four years after the death of his girlfriend, and final legacy of the property, our landlord—our friend—suffered a stroke. There was no next of kin. In a confusion I stated to be a brother, knowing what facts were shared during our time together that no next of kin would come forth in assistance to medical decisions. As acting kin, my wife and I, with the doctor’s approval and hospice assistance, agreed to care for him at home.

The interior of the home had been let go to mice, rats, roaches, and abuse from his dogs. We were unsure if was clean enough to allow him back even if just to pass. Home checked out and four days later our friend passed away. Making a decision on burial came down to choices I wasn’t to certain about as I mentioned I made myself his brother and I am worried that funeral costs out of pocket may take time to pay. (Hospice $8k vs County Coroners Dept. $2k) I chose the cheaper. knowing the kind of man that our friend was he would have offered to throw himself into a river. County Coroners “Public Administrators” dept QUICKLY acted to executorship as I gave answer to kinship as not when P.A. deputy questioned me.

So here’s the short of the story. We were told that the “property would likely go to probate” and not to us for us to keep paying bills, which had to all be changed to my name but were done immediately. So we wait to hear from p.a. do, whom if I had not called almost 2 months later would maybe not at all find that the property wasn’t in our landlords name, in amazement to us as the mortgage company was sending statements of payment in his name. Also was their statements to his girlfriend, her estate, her and his name, and lastly him in a c/o statement. We know from all documents discovered that through his girlfriend and before she passed away that 1 lender had agreed that his payments were allowed to continue through automatically deducted payments from his SSI deposits monthly.

Prior to his death a transfer been made to another (2nd) lender who as well continued accepting mortgage payments in his name and during the month he passed a 3rd transfer of lender would take place. The mortgage payment that was supposed due and at that time available was taken by county to pay for burial thus becoming delinquent. I was advised NOT to continue acting as executor of his estate as I had been notifying his employer as well as other debtors including the mortgage company that had been sending statements showing future foreclosure arraignments.

I continued with multiple attempts throughout notices then foreclosures sale showing up to auction in attempt to communicate the fact that we lived there for two years and wanted to continue by assuming loan. No one including the company that purchased the property would allow one second of time for compromise. I can leave it at what the assuming owners said to me when asking for a reasonable cash 4 keys of $5k stated it’s cheaper to evict. This is where we sit. On the very same day Gov. Newsome halted evictions and ordered “stay in place.” Granted we are not named in the summons and carry a bona fide lease with legal advisory from California rural legal assistance.