Residence Type: 
Landlord Type: 
Private Landlord -- No Rent Control

I am a 62 year old disabled veteran and a local civil servant. I had a lease on a single family home in Crockett for 3 years, but landlords were not paying the mortgage with the rent money and finally defaulted on their two mortgages. The couple [the landlords] broke up, and went two different directions and left no forwarding info. I continued to live there, waiting for the banks to contact me. The lenders kept putting notices on the door, and I always responded, but they wouldn't talk to me because I wasn't the owner. I asked to be able to purchase the house, but, again, they would not speak to me for the same reason. They said my only chance of getting the house was to buy if for cash "on the courthouse steps." But who has that much cash?

We knew we would have to move eventually, so I used my VA loan benefit to buy a house here in the County. But soon after doing that my wife and I started breaking up. Now we are separated and I am still in the Crockett house ... and, of course, my VA loan benefit is tied up with the house my wife and kids are in. We may get back together, but I can't predict when that may happen. In the meantime, in order to move out, I will have to find another place to live and another way to store my possessions.

I left a note on the front door with my number in case anyone from either one of the banks came by about the house. Two days ago a man from FANNIEMAE called and I met him at the house. He told me that FannieMae would do a "cash-for-keys" arrangement, but warned me that they would not give much money or much time or much time to get out. On the sheet of paper the man put on the front door, it says I may be eligible for "financial relocation assistance." I took the agent though the house, showed him the very full garage and the very full basement [with 10,000 books], and the house with five years worth of accumulation of belongings. He saw for himself that I would need time and money for getting out of the house, and moving and storage--since I won't be able to rent a place with this much storage.

The amount they offered was $4,500 *IF* I move out in TWO (2) weeks ... which would barely pay for the first month's rent and security deposit for most decent rentals in this area. It would leave only about $500 for the move, nothing for trhe storage, and nothying for the claning--which is required before the funds would be released.

With the amount of stuff I have, two weeks is an unreasonable amount of time to sort and move that amount of books and other belongings--especially since I can't do much lifting and carrying.

They said that the amount they would offer if I took FOUR (4) weeks would DROP by $1000, to $3,500. So that based on what the agent told me, FannieMae is not trying to be fair, realistic or take the realities of my situation into consideration.

How can I negotiate a more fair and reasonable agreement? I was not the one who defaulted on the loan, nor am I a squatter who moved into a vacant house. We had a lease here for three years and the landlords basically abandoned us! I kept the house safe and occupied, the lights and utilities on, cleaned the roof and yard, as necessary, kept lights on to ward off mischief, and lived in a place that the banks woudn't even allow me to buy--in a neighborhood where squatters have occupied and damaged other vacant dwellings.

I think I deserve a more fair and reasonable relocation arrangement. What can I do?

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