Renters can get caught in the middle of foreclosure crisis

By Dan Wells - bio | email

FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) -- While homeowners are suffering the most direct impact from the foreclosure crisis, renters are not immune from real estate problems.

Denise Hampton, of Florence, thought a lease would let her live in her rental house here on Ridgeway Avenue for years, but because of foreclosure, it won't.

Now she says she's been on an emotional and relocating roller coaster.

"Anger, a great lot of anger. Stupidity on my part for being such a trusting person. I feel sorry for anyone else this happens to," said Hampton.

Just three weeks ago, Hampton got a rude surprise when she heard a knock on her door. It was a real estate agent saying the house she'd been living in for three years had been foreclosed and she was being evicted.

"You have no rights. I called the county commissioners office, I called legal aide, I called HUD attorneys," she said.

Hampton says her landlord, who did not answer our calls, initally told her not to worry about the situaton because he would quote "take care of it," so she ignored letters and notices, but as it turns out, Hampton is one of a growing number of renters caught up in the nation's foreclosure crisis.

"I just want everyone to know what can happen to you so be very careful who you rent from," she says.

FOX19 found out in most states, when a bank forecloses on a landlord, the tenant has no guarantee of being allowed to stay in the property. And, neither the bank nor the landlord has any legal obligation to inform the tenant of the foreclosure.