Mike Fitzpatrick received numerous eviction notices from a lender foreclosing on the home where he lives. But Mike rents, he doesn’t own the home and his landlord says ignore the notice.
Mike says he’s confused. “We don’t know whether to move out or to stay.”
The manufactured home community south of Bellevue called Paradise Lakes has been hit hard with foreclosures. Lenders have taken action against 50 homeowners. Most of them abandoned the modular homes.
However Howard Helm, owner of Paradise Lakes, owns the land the homes sit on and he has a clause in his property lease. If the homeowner walks away Paradise Lakes moves in, remodels the home and rents it out. Helm says, ‘When people are in a home it won’t be destroyed. But it it sits, the varmints come, the mice come the water leaks and roof caves in.”
But Linda Ehresmann moved out of her home she rented from Helm.
Linda says, “How can he rent something he doesn’t own.”
Some lenders hire realtors to contact renters and tell them to leave or face eviction by the mortgage company.
Helm sent notices to residents that says realtors are trying to scare renters with evictions notices. But Helm says they will not have to move. And he promise to help them fight with his attorney.
Helm says he’s protecting the investment of all homeowners in Paradise Lakes by taking over abandoned homes and renting them.
Subtracting his $300 lot fee, Helm collects about $500 rent monthly on the homes in foreclosure he doesn't own.
One attorney for one lender, Steffi Swanson alleges the renting of foreclosed property is not legal and she predicts a court fight lies ahead. She also denies lenders are using scare tactics on renters living in those homes.