Beware of Foreclosure Deals

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Disgusted! Location: US on Apr 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM
    Has anyone reported this guy to the IRS to have him checked for tax evasion? I suspect he's not entirely honest in any of his financial dealings.
  • by Licensed Colorado Realtor Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 15, 2009 at 07:27 PM
    In reference to Erin Toll's comments on saving Colorado Springs from foreclosure scam artists. First off, if Erin Toll really needs access to the MLS she should get her real estate license and pay for the MLS service just like any real estate agent in this town who pays to have the privilege of using this service. That way it wouldn't have to be court ordered and cost the tax payer money. Also, the MLS doesn't hold the holy grail on property values.Even with having access to the MLS, Realtors can only give opinions on what a property is worth. Especially in this ever changing market,it is becoming harder and harder to figure out the true market value of a home. How about working hand in hand with local appraisers who really have the ultimate training and tools to appraise property.
  • by christy Location: cs on Mar 9, 2009 at 12:38 PM
    Are people so stupid that they do not do investigate, let alone read, what people sign. I am sorry. but their are tons of scams, so why are people not more cautious and little smarter. after all anyone can get info from the state tax office. anyone its public info.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2009 at 04:41 AM
    Chevy, has been doing this longer than 2002. Trust me.
  • by Maurice Location: on Mar 6, 2009 at 04:21 PM
    Looks like he has been buying homes since 2002. I hope the DA throws the book and jail time at him for equity skimming (renting and pocketing the money).
  • by Antoinette Location: Colotado Springs on Mar 6, 2009 at 04:16 PM
    Oh my goodness! i can't believe there are people out there that are so cruel and heartless. Always about themselves.Grrrr Well this artical tells me i should read the El Paso County Public Trustee's office paperwork as a homeowner and trust nobody unless we go through the BBB.
  • by maurice Location: colorado springs on Mar 6, 2009 at 04:08 PM
    Not all investors are bad apples. Short sales do benefit homeowners when properly done, often resulting in the bank forgiving the deficiency. This guy broke the law by renting and pocketing the rent. The homeowner could have done that. Also, there should be full disclosure of the process and the owner gets 3 days right to cancel the contract and can't sign the deed before the 3 days are up. One bad apple and all investors are scum, we're not.
  • by Kathy Location: on Mar 6, 2009 at 05:09 AM
    There are many sad stories about people in foreclosure; and it saddens me to see them taken advantage of.
  • by N/a on Mar 6, 2009 at 12:41 AM
    look at the gazette write up on chevy zdehnder Feb 7 2005. similar situation.
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