Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Snidley Whiplash

I have a job. I throw people out of their houses after they have been foreclosed on. As you can imagine, it’s scads of fun. Nine times out of ten, they know it’s coming and they don’t even show up at court. Occasionally, the “owner” didn’t make his payments but s/he had the place rented out to unsuspecting tenants. So, s/he pocketed the rent, and left the tenants to spin. And, the banks or mortgage companies also contract with realtors to get the locks changed and the places ready for re-sale ASAP. Sometimes, the realtors try to “hurry” things along by turning off utilities or changing locks, thereby exposing the banks and mortgage companies to liability for a wrongful eviction. (The technical term in my area is constructive eviction). It also exposes me to the wrath of the judge since I’m the representative who gets to explain “why” the bank tried to hurry things along.

As you can imagine, business is good. I do about 400 a month. I tell you this to show you the enormity of the situation. Lil’ ol’ me makes about 400 families homeless a month. Actually, most have moved on and show up to court because they feel a sense of duty to come, they are curious, or they want to vent at me. Only one has wanted to punch me out so far. One homeowner “turned the matter over to the Lord Jesus”. She wanted $100,000 to call Him off or “He will strike (you) down and (you) will spend eternity in hell for (your) actions.”

However, I have been able to help a lot of people. In my travels I have met several families with special needs children who did not know about some of the services and benefits to which they were entitled. I have also successfully referred many people to bankruptcy so they could get a fresh start. I also joined a community action board that helps with utility payments and other housing services so I could make informed referrals for people. Ah, maybe I’m just rationalizing.