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Disabled couple forced out of home

July 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Michael and Patty Philips have rented a house in Sun City for five years. Both are handicapped and living on a limited income. There was an air of urgency Wednesday as family members moved their possessions into a U-Haul truck. They have become victims of the foreclosure epidemic. "We've been paying our rent like clockwork every month, and he hasn't been paying his bills I guess is what happened," Michael said. "The finance company is the one that's locking us out."

A San Diego company bought the property in mid-February -- a fact the couple learned just last week. The Philips say the former landlord continued to accept rent checks for four months and offered the Philips another rental. They declined because it was in need of so many repairs. The new owner wants them out of their home.

"When I contacted the attorney who is working for the people who now own the home, they said the company they are working with will not give you a chance," said the tenant's daughter, Jean Hopkins. "They do not want you in the house. They want you out. I explained to them about my parents' situation, about their being handicapped, and they still insisted at 1 p.m. today the sheriff will be here to lock the doors."

A sheriff's deputy arrived at midday with news of a small reprieve. The couple has 15 days to remove their possessions, but they cannot live there.

"It's the most rotten thing because everybody I've heard about are all paying their bills and they're getting squeezed out of here by the finance company or landlords," Michael said.

The couple will move in with family members in Hemet and their possessions will be placed in storage.

 

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