This is the first part of a three part series I will call, "The Good, The Bad, and The Unexplainable."
We will start with the Good - Why I Love This Job.
As REO Agents we are often the first person to inform an unsuspecting tenant that the home they are living in has been foreclosed on. This can be a difficult, and sometimes heartbreaking task (but that's why we make the big bucks, right?). We do it so often that we can become jaded to the situation. I admit that I am often guilty of viewing a foreclosure as just another assignment, but to the people occupying that home, it is more than an assignment, it is a life changer.
I received another one of these assignments about 3 months ago. The home was located in the inner city of Jackson. This is an area that only seasoned REO Agents care to go (the type of place that makes new agents wanting to break into the REO biz question if the reward is greater than the risk.) So I pulled up to this 800 sq. ft., 2 bedroom home (which provided little more comfort than a roof over head) and found it occupied by a tenant named Willie.
Willie and his wife had been living in this home for 30 years. They raised their children in this home and as you could imagine, they were devastated when I gave them the news. I mentioned to Willie that he may have options as far as renting back from the mortgage company, but that idea was quickly rejected when he informed me that he did not have a written lease with the previous owner. He had been renting on a verbal agreement for $300/mo. His prospects looked bleak.
The reality was that if Willie got booted from this home he would have very little chance of finding another place to live. Willie didn't have much credit, but what he did have was a job and a little bit of money in a 401k account (not enough to retire on, but enough to purchase this home.)
He made a $5000 offer for the home, which given its condition and location, was about $2000 more than what the seller would have gotten if it went on the market. It took a little work, but Willie and the seller reached an agreement at $5500. I am proud to say that Willie, now in his late 50's, is a proud first time home buyer and owner of the home he had been living in for the last 30 years.
It is not too often that you get to help people in this situation. Circumstances do not always allow for this type of outcome, but when it does, it sure feels good. It also has a way of keeping life in perspective. This is one of the good things about this job.
I would love to hear similar stories if you have one.
"Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:4