What about all that tragedy and misery that JoAnn fought so hard to avoid? Working with banks and REO properties has put us on the front lines and given us an opportunity to help.
One day, an occupancy report came to JoAnn’s desk, and the photographs showed a house full of furniture and toys and personal papers. This house was scheduled to be trashed out the next day by a third-party vendor hired by this particular bank. The required notices had been posted, and no one seemed to care that someone’s life was still there.
JoAnn called the asset manager and asked for an extra day to try to find the former owner. She received permission, and we all went to work tracking down someone who didn’t want to be found. This was made more difficult by privacy and liability considerations. We couldn’t act like some paperback sleuth, nosing through unopened mail. There were clues, though. We could tell this was a woman with small children. From family photos, we knew she had been in the navy. From return addresses on envelopes, we found her parent in an eastern seaboard state. JoAnn called and explained the situation to this woman’s mother and asked her to have her daughter call us. It was the best we could do. We could only hope that Mom believed JoAnn under circumstances that foster much disbelief.
We received the call late that night. This was a single mother who had no understanding of the foreclosure process. After seeing the notice on her door, she had ...