Renters face eviction weeks after moving into foreclosed home


ACWORTH, Ga.,None - A local family says they leased a home, and then a week later they received a Fannie Mae foreclosure notice on the door to move out.

“I feel like I have been duped,” explained tenant Sonya Croft.

Croft says there weren’t any red flags when she signed the lease. The rent was reasonable, she paid a $300 deposit and the landlord allowed her to pay monthly or weekly.

But she says what the landlord didn’t tell her is that he was trying to fend off the bank from foreclosing on their Acworth rental home.

“He should have made us aware of what was going on. He should have disclosed to us that there was a possibility that this could happen, because he had to know. It didn’t happen in a week and half,” explained Croft.

Croft’s first call was to her landlord, Robert Lemal

“I contacted him, and he said disregard the notice because he was working on a loan modification,” said Croft. 

Channel 2’s Craig Lucie called Lemal, too. He told Lucie that he didn’t want to do an on-camera interview, but did tell him that he was trying to get a loan modification from the bank. He says the bank foreclosed prematurely. He also told Sonya Croft that he would be cutting off her water and power right before the holidays since she quit paying rent.

Sonya says there’s reason why she quit paying him. 

“We were told not to pay him anymore money by Fannie Mae,” said Croft.

It’s become a lease dilemma that is now so common, there’s a federal law that protects tenants like Sonya Croft. It called the Protecting Tenants Act at Foreclosure. Croft and her family can stay for the remainder of their 12-month lease, but Fannie Mae is now making them an offer to get out.

The offer is nearly $1700 dollars to move.  Croft says she doesn’t know if she wants to move her three children for the third time in a month.