Friday, March 18, 2016

Use Of Land Contract By Nationwide Real Estate Investor To Unload Dilapidated Money Pit At Center Of Controversy Involving Collapsed Retaining Wall; Title Holder Denies Responsibility For Repairs, Says Obligation Has Been Shifted Onto Savvy-Lacking Homebuyer; Hazard Leaves Innocent Next-Door Neighbor In Danger w/ Forced Move Possible

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, WOWT-TV Channel 6 reports:
  • A collapsed retaining wall in Council Bluffs has put next door neighbors in danger. One family has been ordered to move while another is teetering on leaving home to be safe.

    The ties between them tumbled last fall but Kelley Hillyer says getting the neighboring property owner to fix the hazard has hit a wall.

    "Awful, what do you do when you are on the brink of losing your home? I can't afford an attorney," said Hillyer.

    The city ordered the renter next door to move out and issued a civil citation to the property owner Stonecrest Acquisitions of San Jose California for failure to abate a dangerous building.

    Stonecrest told the inspector the renter is buying on land contract and she's responsible for making the wall safe. The assessor, however, lists the company address for the owner so Stonecrest faces an $800 city fine.

    The collapsed wall is just a little over two feet from Hillyer’s foundation and the drop off. She and her two teenagers can stay as long as the gas line remains stable.

    Council Bluffs City Code Inspector Chuck Legg said told Hillyer that if something shifts and the earth gives way, there’s a possibility she’ll have to leave.

    "The wall sitting in the position its in could collapse further,” said Legg. “To fence the area off, to make it safe from the neighborhood would be a concern of mine."

    Hillyer told WOWT 6 News she’s got nowhere to go.

    Cracks inside are a warning Hillyer’s 12 year old home is slipping away and her claims to various insurance companies came back saying “Property Not Covered" or "No Legal” responsibility.

    "The mortgage company needs to step up to the plate and get this wall put back together, fix the yard, and fix the interior of my house," said Hillyer.

    She’s worried that Stonecrest is stonewalling her.

    Six On Your Side has reached out to Stonecrest Financial and Acquisitions of California but hasn't received a response. The company will have to answer for the citation at a court hearing March 30.
Source: Mortgage company cited for fallen wall. contract for deed

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