This Colorado Springs tri-level is where Cynthia Glenn should be living right now. It was her home for seven years and holds many happy memories.
But hard times led to foreclosure proceedings and because Cynthia didn't know her rights... she moved out when she could have stayed.
She's now paying to live in a much smaller place. It's here she met a man named Chevy Zehnder with a company called Lihr Homes. He was a stranger who knocked on her door.
Cynthia says, "He approached me and said look, this is a win-win situation."
Cynthia says she thought Zehnder was a realtor, but she never checked.
He reportedly offered to do something called a short sale on her home... meaning he'd ask the mortgage company to agree to an offer of less than the amount she owed. If a buyer agreed to that amount... Cynthia could avoid the foreclosure.
Cynthia says Zehnder told her to sign a few papers to get started.
Cynthia tell us, "I didn't realize I was signing over the property to him at all."
Cynthia says she was shocked to learn the papers she signed meant she had just sold her home to Zehnder for ten dollars.
Then, instead of trying to sell her home... Cynthia says Zehnder stuck a "for rent" sign in the yard and moved in a family... tenants who are now paying him rent.
Cynthia adds, "It makes me sick to my stomach to find out that you know... he's getting all of this money off of this property when it should be going to the mortgage lender."
Erin Toll, the director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate says, "It just frankly sickens me that people would take advantage of someone who's in a situation like this both financially and emotionally.
She warns homeowners to be careful, adding, "You have a giant target painted on your back and hunters will come out and prey on you."
Toll says since Zehnder is not a licensed realtor she's turning over Cynthia's complaint to the Colorado Attorney General's office.
Toll says, "It appears from things I've found on the website that this person has done this before to other people and the Attorney General's office is very interested in this case."
I tried to reach Zehnder at his registered business address which is the home where he lives in Pine Creek. He later called me... saying it was Cynthia who's the problem since she's the one who defaulted on the loan.
Zehnder says banks thank him for his work, moving in tenants who take care of properties instead of letting them fall into disrepair.
He told me since he's been making repairs to the property, he deserves the rent money he's collecting.
So far the tenant living there tells me... she's paid $1,350 and moving forward she'll pay $850-dollars a month to Zehnder.
The El Paso County District Attorney's office tells me Zehnder was arrested for two felonies... forgery and the filing of false documents... and received deferred sentences for each.
Now the Economic Crimes Division is investigating him again based on Cynthia's complaint.
Another kicker to this story... Zehnder says since he spent a lot of money fixing up the home ... he never gave Cynthia her ten bucks.
Just remember when foreclosure proceedings start, all the documents are public and available for anyone to read... even those who might use the information to prey upon homeowners.
Bottom line... don't be afraid to ask for free advice, but only from professionals who are looking out for your interests... not investors... looking to line their pockets.
By the way ... the El Paso County Public Trustee's office always sends out a packet of information to homeowners who find themselves in financial trouble.
Cynthia says she never read hers because she didn't know she had options.
As for the tenants living in the house now... they tell us they know they may have to move out when the foreclosure's final... which may be before their contract expires.
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