I would like to share my experience and how Tenant's Together came to my rescue!
This happened between 2010-2012, when foreclosures were at its peak.
I was paying my rent dutifully every month having no idea the rental was in default. I came home one evening to find a sheriff's notice on the door saying I had 30 days to vacate the property. Not knowing where to turn or my legal rights, I contacted Tenant's Together hoping they could assist me. They offered advise and told me what my next steps should be. The volunteer I spoke with took his time to explain everything to me. He was kind and compassionate.
Following his advice, I found out the home was in default almost a year while the landlord was trying to get a loan remodification but was unsuccessful. The landlord claimed she didn't know the house was in default, and from what I was reading in the newspapers about owners dealing with banks on loan remodifications, I wasn't sure whether to believe her or not. I was furious she pocketed almost a year's worth of rent and none of it was going towards the mortgage. I found myself entering into a rental agreement with Fannie Mae. Part of the agreement with Fannie Mae was I had to agree to have an open house twice a month, so I was dealing with realtors and strangers walking through the home, opening doors, and peeking at my belongings. I felt violated and there was nothing I could do. Some realtors were very nice and understood my plight; others were heartless and ruthless. Also rentals had skyrocketed and I couldn't afford any available housing. After dealing with all that for about 3 months, I ended up with a new landlord who purchased the property and kept me as a tenant.
This story is pretty typical except for the fact that I didn't have to move and remain a tenant in the property.
As far as my security deposit, I had to threaten to take the former landlord to court. She kept telling me when the bank foreclosed on the property, they took my security deposit. That didn't make any sense to me. The bank didn't know the home was a rental property; it was listed as her primary residence. I did manage to get my security deposit returned in installments. Better late than never I suppose.
You do have rights and Tenant's Together will guide and point you in the right direction. Don't believe what your landlord tells you. I was on very good terms with my former landlord and she still tried to scam me out of my security deposit.
Crystal A. Garland