An Oakland County family is being forced out of a home they love. They say they're innocent victims of a foreclosure battle, and contacted Ruth to the Rescue for help.
As we looked into their story- we found lessons all of us should learn.
Boxes are packed and belongings are in disarray for the family of Draython and Marisol Savoi. They've been planning a heartbreaking move that they hoped to avoid. At one point, they thought they needed to be out of their home by July 20.
They've been renting the home in Walled Lake for three years, Draython says he's devastated they must leave.
"This is an incredible neighborhood. The neighbors are absolutely incredible. I know its going to be hard for me to find neighbors like this," he told Ruth to the Rescue.
Foreclosure trouble begins
In August 2011 they found out their landlord was in foreclosure. "He was still trying to get us to pay full rent and we were like why are you trying to get us to pay full rent? We're going to get kicked out because you haven't paid the mortgage," said Draython.
In April, Draython went to a foreclosure hearing, he says, trying to find out how he could buy the home. He claims an attorney from Trott and Trott, representing Fannie Mae, handed him a piece of paper.
"She goes well here, sign this and we'll give you 90 days to purchase it or move out," he said.
Signing that paper actually meant he waived many of his rights, making it easier for Fannie Mae to get him out of the house. Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner fights to keep people in their homes.
The treasurer told Ruth to the Rescue, "It seems like there was an attempt to to take advantage of Mr. Savoi." We contacted Trott and Trott who would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.
Trying to buy, but denied!
The Savoi family got pre-approved for a loan and offered 160-thousand dollars to buy the home. Just 5 days before their 90 days were up, Fannie Mae told them no deal. A spokesman for Fannie Mae says the home was determined to need too many repairs to be sold or rented to the Savoi's.
That doesn't make sense to Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner, who says the home looks well-maintained to him.
"We need to work together to keep these sorts of properties occupied," he told Ruth to the Rescue.
So now, Draython and his family face an uncertain future, wondering why Fannie Mae can't be more compassionate.
Draython told Ruth to the Rescue, "Our kids are integrated here, our community is integrated here, and we're being ripped away from that."
Ruth to the Rescue asked Fannie Mae for a list of repairs the home needed. So far, they have not given us that information.
After Ruth to the Rescue called the district court, the Savoi's were given until august 27th to leave their home. That might be enough time for them to find another place to live. They have made an offer on another house, but would still prefer to stay in the place they've called home for three years.
Lessons to remember
Here are some lessons to remember, thanks to the Savoi's unfortunate story.
1.) Whenever you find yourself entangled in a foreclosure matter, get some expert advice as soon as possible. Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisnerwould go even further. He says you should get help from a certified housing counselor, registered with the Department of Housing and Urban Development or with the state of Michigan.
2.) If you stop paying the rent for any reason, make sure you're putting the money in an escrow account as a show of good faith that you're keeping that money in regards to a dispute that is under controversy.
3.) NEVER, NEVER sign anything that you don't completely understand without legal guidance.
4.) About that document Draython Savoi signed: it had a three-day window to take it back, but he didn't make that decision in time. If you ever sign anything that does not feel right, take action as soon as possible! In this case, if Draython had acted more quickly, he may have been able to better protect his legal rights.