News 12 at 6, February 12, 2008
NORTH AUGUSTA -- You buy a house. You move into that house. Then you find out the person who sold it to you didn't own it in the first place.
One North Augusta couple says that's just what happened to them as their American dream became the American nightmare.
It seems these days there's always some bad news affecting someone in the housing market; bad loans, foreclosures, but buying a house from someone who didn't own it? It sounds unusual, but one couple says it's true.
Four months ago, Calvin and Donna Hill finally bought their own house.
"I really thought this would be our place in 20 years," Calvin said with a look of lost hope.
The contract the Hills signed to buy has the signature of a seller named Angela Ray. After they signed it, the Hills thought everything was okay until an Aiken County officer came to the door recently to tell them they had to be out in 10 days.
"We didn't know what to think," Calvin said.
It turns out Angela Ray didn't own the house and didn't have a right to sell it. Her mother Freddie did. And, the bank says Freddie was in default and the house was being foreclosed on. The home will be taken away.
"It's been bad on my nerves; all I can do is cry," Donna said with tears in her eyes.
Angela Ray lives just around the corner from the Hills. 12 On Your Side couldn't catch her at home for a comment, but we did get her on the phone. She told us there was a mix-up, but then quickly hung up when we pressed her for more answers.
"She kept saying she'd get it straightened out, but she never did," Calvin said.
The Hills say the mortgage company told them it's too late to turn the process around. The Hills have to go; where is anybody's guess.
"I don't have a clue, don't have a clue," wept Donna as she stared at the ceiling.
"We're struggling to look for a place to go," her husband continued.
They hope for the best, but expect the worst.
"We're gonna’ be homeless," Donna said in desperation.
The Hills are in the process of pursuing legal action against Angela Ray, but as of Wednesday morning, they will have to be out.