Sebastian Rose scrambled, moving quickly to pack up and salvage what he could.
Rose, a man who runs his own landscaping business, saw his life come apart Friday as he and his family were evicted from the place they had called home for more than three years. His wife and four kids watched as Rose tried to take what belongings he could.
Rose rented the property at 1001 NW 41st St., but got caught up in a foreclosure action – a situation that Miami-Dade County lawyers say is all too common.
“I don't know what I’m going to do at this time. I have nowhere to relocate. I have no house. No time to get a house,” Rose said.
He added: “I have a trailer with my equipment on the street right now.”
Rose called it all unjust, showing NBC 6 his lease, before and after pictures of repairs the family said it made to the home, and other paperwork Rose said he filed with the court in an effort to remain there.
He said he was current on the rent, but his landlord did not want to take any more money. He went to court, but ultimately the eviction order was signed.
The lender said it clearly posted all legal documents on the property.
County officials said Rose is a prime example of what is happening to homeowners and renters.
Carolina Lombardi of Legal Services of Greater Miami called such evictions “a real epidemic,” explaining, “People are being foreclosed on. They don't know what their rights are. They don't know the remedies that are available to them.”
Lombardi is part of the effort to aid the thousands like Rose who are caught up in legal actions over where they live.
“We see people who are going to court that morning and we're trying to give them advice about what to say, and a lot of people are just overwhelmed with all the legal jargon,” she said.
Miami-Dade next week will host two seminars for those who are facing foreclosure or trying to modify properties.
But renters like Rose can also become embroiled in foreclosure actions – even though, Lombardi said, there’s a specific federal law that addresses that problem.
“It’s called the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act. And it gives renters who are in foreclosed actions special protections,” Lombardi said.
The county is trying to help Rose find a place to stay.
Legal Services of Greater Miami and the Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department will host two clinics where low-income homeowners who are having foreclosure or mortgage modification problems can speak one-on-one with attorneys.
One will be held Monday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Florida City Community Service Center at 1600 NW 6th Court, and the other will be held Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third floor of the Joseph Caleb Center, at 5400 NW 22nd Ave. in Miami. For additional information on the clinics, call 786-469-4640 or visit www.miamidade.gov/socialservices.
Legal Services of Greater Miami’s website is www.lsgmi.org.
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