Renters Caught Up In Foreclosure Crisis

Adrianna Diharce and her husband Jesse thought they knew the rules of the renting game.

"We've been good renters," Diharce said. "We paid on time."

What they did not know is that the owner of the home they've been renting near Oakland, Calif., wasn't paying her mortgage - and the bank foreclosed on the property at the worst possible time, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

"We were shocked. I mean it's just horrible," Diharce said. "I'm about to deliver, you know have another baby and they're about to auction off the house."

"This basically says you have 30 days to leave. What are you going to do?" Tracy asked her.

"I don't know," she said.

Thirty-eight percent of foreclosures now involve rental properties. That's at least 168,000 households nationwide.

In states as Nevada, Illinois and New York, the numbers are even higher.

"In most states, foreclosure itself automatically terminates a tenancy," said housing attorney Judith Liben.

Liben, who works for the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, said most banks simply won't deal with renters.

"The banks try to get them out as fast as possible, and this happens everywhere," Liben said.

And so brokers representing the banks often offer what's called "cash for keys:" a payoff to get the renter out quickly.

"The offer was $2,500 to leave," Diharce said, within 14 days.

Oakland City Attorney John Russo says many renters get a much worse deal.

"The person gets a notice from the bank saying, 'hello, your rent is now $10,000 a month. If you can't pay it, time to leave.'"

And this is often what happens - you end up with an abandoned, boarded up house that drives down property values in the neighborhood and ironically can make it even harder for the bank to sell.

Families like Diharce's are left with few good options.

"You don't even own the property and you're being faced with foreclosure," she said. "It's horrible."

Especially when you've played by the rules - and still lost.
  • Ben Tracy

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