SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–Hundreds of tenants renting from 417 Rentals could face eviction. The company owner, Chris Gatley filed for bankruptcy, but his case was dismissed.
This leaves those living in Gatley’s properties facing possible eviction due to foreclosure.
“That’s a bit concerning because at this time I don’t know who to pay my rent to. Being homeless that is my greatest fear. I have a son who has muscular dystrophy, he is very sick,” says a renter who doesn’t want to be identified.
417 Rentals has about 500 residential properties in the Springfield area.
The company owes 13 banks more than $19 million according to court filinigs.
For tenants, if the mortgage on the property is older than the lease on the property, the foreclosure is going to overturn the terms of the lease.
“If you’ve got a lease say in 2012 and the property, the most recent loan is from 2015 then that’s going to be true that your lease is not going to be affected by the foreclosure. If on the other hand, the landlord got the property in 2012 and your lease is from 2015, then your lease is going to be wiped out by the foreclosure,” says Branson attorney, Diana Brazeale.
“I don’t want to live day by day not knowing if I’m going to be evicted or if whatever is going to happen,” says a renter.
For renters who are not sure who to pay their rent to…the bank or the landord….Brazeale offers this advice.
“If you’re on the property, you’re still obligated to pay rent under the lease. After the day of the foreclosure sale who you pay the property to is a more difficult question. My advice to for anybody coming to me would be to escrow those rent payments, save them back because you’re going to owe them to somebody,” says Brazeale.
Brazeale says the best thing you can do if you’re a 417 Renter is keep yourself informed by knowing who has the loan on the property and pay attention to any legal notices.