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I was just sitting here looking at my finger, which hurts 24/7 and has for two years, when the thought of this subject came up. You see, my finger is missing the tip and after two years I still have the craziest sensation in it. It was taken off through my window by an angry homeowners dog, which had been sic'd on me as soon as he saw my camera. Had to drive to emergency and get stitched up.
So whats happened to you agents? Here is a recap of my experiences.
1. Been shot at. Really. Bullet went into tree just past my head. Yes, I ran and drove the he** out fast.
2. Been cornered by subjects neighbors, who formed a line in front and back of my vehicle. It was a small one way dirt road in the woods by Portland. Reminded me of 'Deliverance' lol. Apparently they all stood up for each other. The only photo I had was a womans hand holding the shovel that she was going to use on my window before I started honking and just drove through them. A guy scratched a mark in my paint from bumper to bumper. I sent that photo to the BPO company as my explanation for not getting pictures and they accepted it no problem.
3. I was going into a long driveway when a (I know it sounds fake but this next part is true) a black suburban with darkened windows appeared in front of me. 4 guys in cammo jumped out and told me to get out. I had a hard time turning around as they drove up to my bumper but made it, only to have then chase me about 5 miles before pulling off.
4. Was doing an interior. A little older woman was very mad at the bank, me, the world in general and growled at me through the door but let me in. She followed me around, becoming more agitated by the minute. As I walked through the door to leave, she started screaming and chased me to my car. She grabbed the door handle and hung on all the way to the street and about another 20 feet as I tried to get away. I only went about 1 MPH so she wouldnt be killed.
5. Had a really backwoody type low IQ guy (urban home though) come out and spit chew at me then he pointed a drawn bow and arrow at my chest while cursing and saying there was nothing wrong with his loan. I had not asked though, so he knew he had loan trouble. I still wince while thinking about that 4 blade hunting arrow pointed at me. Jeeze.
6. Fleas. Lots of em. I walked into a house. Had almost white pants on. After a few minutes I looked down and was horrified. Could hardly see the color of my pant legs! Didnt know how so many fleas existed in a vacant house. I swatted and slapped and ran out, not wanting them in my truck carpets but couldnt get them all. Drove to a quickmart and got some RAID bug killer. I know it can kill humans too but didnt care! I sprayed my carpets and my pant and socks. When I got arrived home, I went into the back yard (High fence) stripped and hosed myself before going in.
7.I guess my favorite was an interior that was supposed to be vacant. The back windows had been broken and the agent told me they had to chase squatters out 3 times. There were empty food and milk containers all over and cement blocks with boards on them to use as chairs, etc. Clothing was here and there on the floor. I heard something and pushed open a bedroom door to find a large woman in a wheelchair and a scraggly looking guy trying to 'make a baby' in the chair. Should have taken that photo and sent it FARVV, lol
How bout you folks?
I can match most of the above stories as well. I don't do interiors any more. The last one I did convinced me to stop. I didn't have much time. There was a sleeping bag on the floor with sneakers hanging out. I knew there was a homeless guy in there AFTERWARDS. I hollered "Realtor" when I entered. The place was gross and I was in such a hurry that it didn't register that somebody belonged to those shoes. Got back out to the car and you know that aha moment that hits you...Well, I'll stick to the drive by from now on.
Last year and a fairly nice neighborhood. I went to one of my REO listings to make sure water was on for inspections that day. I was outside taking updated photos for the next bpo, when the neighbor walked up. He asked me what I was doing and I explained. He said, "Oh, I see you are part of the plan". What plan? " You know, Taylor Swift, Obama, and deer". He than began to tell me that Obama is the anti- Christ, et. I was trying to move away from him and not make him angry. At that point he charged me and said He was going to fu-- me up. I made it to my car and he started kicking my door and funning down the street after me pulling a gun. I called the police, but in the meantime the inspector showed up and he pulled the gun on him. The guy was high on bath salts - and taken to a mental care facility.
Gosh, I guess it's tame here in middle Tennessee !
I've been doing this for 12 yrs. No big events. Did have the flea problem. house was empty, apparently inhabited by dogs previously. Maybe that did have a couple of people for pets :)
Before I got in the door the fleas started hopping. I quickly exited, but like Marvin, bug spray and outside shower before going inside my home.
There have been a couple of mild threats, but I can usually talk my way through those. My method is to cuss the system along with them, complain about the low pay and how I hate doing this. That method rarely fails.
Recently I got to a long gravel road. I had asked a neighbor down the road for directions. He told me when I get to the fence at the road, I should not go any further. Advised the 4 houses there didn't like visitors and he suspected a meth lab. I took pics of the gate, posted 'no trespassing' , a long distance of the house which was at least 500 yds away, and let it go. BPO co. was fine with that.
Most of our agents work well together. Had one interior order, called the REO agent for access and was advised to stay away til he could get it treated. Wasp everywhere. I did the exterior and could see them from the road. When I was notified it was all clear, I went back and did interior.
One property that fascinated me. It was a beautiful home at one time. $200k range. Above ground pool with a large tree in it, appeared to be deliberate. Interior was trashed. holes in walls, carpet with paint poured over.
And, the old saying "everything but the kitchen sink"... it was gone too!
Looking around, it was obvious they lived to excess. Signs of sound systems wired throughout. Wall brackets for tvs (or at least the damage from removal) Even a cable where the fridge was, so I guess they had one of those with the tv/internet connection. Apparently, they wanted to take everything they could from that mean ole bank.
The funniest was an "occupied" house. I knocked, entered and was walking around when this "Nekkid" woman came in the back door! She had been sunbathing out back. Seems her boyfriend had given her a key, he was out of town and she just came over and made herself at home. Nice looking lady too !
I've about quit doing the bpo and reo work. Seems it's costing us more and paying off less.
I do have a question. What's the most interesting thing left behind? It's amazing what people walk away from.
There was one house that had a large collection of classic albums, several tvs, baby grand and motorcycle. That wasn't my property, but wish it was.
I found an autographed, framed photo of Steven Curtis Chapman once, along with a few other mementos. I did a little research and found the owner. He had worked with SCC at one time. He had been touring and was foreclosed while traveling and had not been able to return to complete his move. He got his possessions back.
You just brought up a topic for a new thread. Interesting things left behind. Ive seen many things that I couldnt belive people left behind. Maybe some were Sheriff sales and they had to get out fast. Still, in one house was boxes of all the families phots. Diplomas, personal even albums, etc. Some of them very old. I still cant believe anyone would leave those. At first I though maybe the owners died but found out they had not. Did a driveby of a home owned by an elderly woman who died. Looked in through the windows and saw it filled with nice looking furniature and personal items. The real estate company, chosen by relatives, hired someone to clean the place up and the relatives were supposed to take anything out that had value unless they just didnt want them. The real estate agent gave me the contact for the relatives because for a while, I helped a cheerleading team make trip money by getting brokers to let them do trashouts and cleanups on properties that had personal items. The girls could keep whatever they wanted to sell at big school lot sales. We took inventory first to be sure there was something of value. In this case, the relatives told us what we could and couldnt have. The cleanup service was still going to be going in after us. We went over in the evening with a truck and found the cleanup crew already there. They had torn the place apart looking for anything valuable. Opened books looking for hidden money, etc. Their truck already had boxes in it and furniture had been moved into the garge for loading. They were surprised to see us and I told them that some of those items had already been given to us by the relatives. They argued a bit with me then left. Lord only knows what all they stole, and nothing could be done because they said the boxes only had trash. The girls and I decided to totally clean up the place instead of just what we were supposed to do. We worked all night for the good will of it and as we were leaving I saw an old dust covered jar sitting up on a shelf in the garage. It was filled with old coins---almost all pre 1964 silver type. Could have said nothing but we called the relatives the next day. The coins face value was about $110. Lots of dimes. We told them of the encounter with the cleaning team, so they came over and met us at the house. Upon seeing how we cleaned the place up, they told us to keep the jar of coins and we also got some leather furniture to sell for the team. The coins sold at a coin shop for over $500. Some had value aside from the silver spot price. I guess what always shocks me is personal photographs, kids art work and letters still tacked or taped to walls.This is sad work, folks. The public needs to know how many citizens have lost and will be losing their homes due to the practices of some lenders and servicers who make the loan mod process impossible to work.
Now we need a thrid new topic--'The saddest items left behind'. Then maybe the scariest---it doesnt stop, lol
Marvin, you're right, people wouldn't believe what we find in these homes.. We could have threads for all these ideas. Glad to see there are others that go out of the way to help recover precious memories.
At one time I had a storage room where I kept items. Rather than let a cleanup service pick through, I would save what I thought may be important to the previous occupants. I have helped several needy families with furniture left behind. I would keep furniture until I knew there was no one that would claim it, then find someone that needed it.
What most people don't understand is the emotions of many of these people. They go through fear, embarrassment, confusion, desperation, and depression, eventually giving up.
By the time they give up, they just don't have the emotional energy to do anything.
As I go through some of these homes, all I can do is pray for these folks.
The saddest thing of all for me is to see the doorway frame where they marked their kids height as they grew. Ive almost been brought to tears over some of them. Was going to start a book about this whole foreclosure thing and its impact on people. It was going to have several dozen shots of just those doorways.
I had one where i had to do initial pics for an REO is was taking over. I drove up, took the front and side photos and then a guy came out yelling:
HIM: What the F*ck are you doing you motherf**ker".
ME: You did not make your payments and you are being foreclosed on
HIM: I made my payments
ME: How many, the first two when you moved in
HIM: You got a smart mouth don't you f*cker. Maybe it wont talk so smart with a gun in it.
ME: "As i lift up my shirt and show him my .38SPL Smith and Wesson" You may want to rephrase your last statement.
HIM: F*ck you...
as he walks away a neighbor stated to applaud and he must of called the cops because they showed up about 2 minutes later. I had a permit and a registered gun and explained what happened. The guy was arrested as his gun (yes he did have one too) was not registered and he was a felon and is NEVER allowed to carry a weapon of any kind again.
and banks pay us 5% because our job is so easy and we don't work hard for our money......
Ryan, I never tell the people that. I simply say I was asked to do pics of the home. Could be for insurance, bank files or local comps. Most of them know, but some are renters, and some are just clueless.
Those that admit it, I have taken their side, just to diffuse the tension.
"You know these heartless banks! They just won't give a person a break!" "I'm just trying to make a living too, you know how bad the market is now. If you let me get a couple of shots, I'll be out of your way"
That usually works too.
If i get talked that way too, I do NOT take their side.
If you threaten me with a gun, the last thing i will do is feel bad for you.
I see what you are saying but I agree with Durward. Some of these people may be desperate, and getting into it with them might be dangerous. Being as friendly and professional as possible is the way to go, and if it comes to it, the gun is there to be used in self-defence. I might have apologised for alarming him and explained that his lender was requesting exterior condition photos of the house for the purpose of keeping track of the value of the note. I don't know who you work for, but the companies I work for expressly tell agents not to interact with occupants, and this would certainly include not telling them that they are about to be foreclosed on; such an admission can only lead to a negative interaction, as proven by your story.
Trying to defuse a situation by being professional, sympathising with their situation and their anger at their lender is often the way to avoid a dangerous confrontation. I always think how I would feel if I saw someone taking photos of my home. There are bad people out there such as thieves and sexual predators, who could easily be stalking neighborhoods to commit crimes. Maybe he thought you were up to no good?
Also, when it comes down to it, who is on the side of the lender; money changers who profit whether you pay the mortgage or go into foreclosure, because they will either be repaid with lots of interest or the taxpayer, through Uncle Sam, will see them ok.
I see your point but he know exactly why I was there. They words he was speaking indicated he knew what was going on. I am a very good judge of character and this guy was slime and dangerous, therefore that is how he got treated...especially after threatening me with a firearm.
I also have a conceal & carry permit, and do carry a 9MM anytime I am going into a vacant home. I had a squatter take a swing at me with a shovel, I blocked it, punched him and ran outside and called the cops. found out later it was the person that used to own the house.