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May 2010--We are in a situation where we rented for almost 8 years from a landlord we had a great relationship with. Unbeknownst to us, the owner of our property was hoping to get his mortgage re-financed with BofA due to the market crash. Of course, as banks did back then... they told the owner they wouldn't work to refinance him unless he was delinquent on his payments. Feeling he had no other option, the owner withheld his mortgage payments (though we continued paying our rent). As history proved, instead of "working with" the owner, BofA immediately foreclosed.

At the time, we provided a copy of our lease to the "bank designated" realtor who stopped by and offered us "about $2000" if we agreed to move out within 15 days. Um. Not happening...not with a large dog, cat, rabbit, teenager graduating in <2yrs, me just having surgery, and more than their $2000 in unrefunded deposit alone. Then silence... a new management company assigned (no request for rent payments), some legal paperwork addressed to the owners and "any unnamed tennants" which upon checking with the court, never completed service.

Finally, in December 2011, we received a letter addressed to "unnamed tenant" from some random company stating simply, "make your rent payments to us at xxxx..." No verification of any way as to who they were, or even if they truly represented the owning bank, whether they even knew who we were, and no specific request for amount of rent to be paid.

After insisting this company prove who they were, and that they truly had our lease, we bagan making monthly rent payments to them.

But behold... the property management company has returned every one of our rent checks stating that the bank has advised them not to cash our checks, claiming they served a 3-day Pay Rent or Quit notice on us back in 2010, (which of course never happened) and claiming that we in fact owe them some $15,000+ in back rent.

While we see no possible way of them ever being able to collect on this manufactured debt, we do expect the bank can (and will) attempt to blacklist our credit...which means of course that we will have to secure an attorney for advice and legal protection. Thank HEAVEN for Tenants Together, and California's tenant protection laws.

I can only assume Texas has no such protections, since the Austin-based property management company actually told me, "Oh... no, I'm sorry but the terms of your lease are not valid because the property was foreclosed upon." Seems to me this must be a standard manipulative tactic they use, since it's federal law that my lease must be honored if the home is not purchased as a primary residence.

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