This letter is in reference to the front page article in the Nov. 15, 2015 edition of the North Bergen Reporter “Senior Citizen Fears Homelessness.” I realized I never sent in an official thank you to both Caren Matzner (Editor) and Art Schwartz (Reporter) for doing a great feature story on my very challenging situation.
Mr. Schwartz did a terrific job. I gave him a lot of information regarding my eviction by Penny Mac which he presented in a very clear, concise, orderly manner, with much attention to detail.
I have lived in a small “cottage” on the property, here in North Bergen for ten years now, having moved in April 2006. The property went into foreclosure November 2014, at which time I started sending my rent checks to the NJ legal firm, which represented Penny Mac.
Round about March 2015, I discovered that I was indeed renting an “illegal space,” apparently listed on the deed, as a “storage shed.”
Penny Mac started giving me “offers,” to help relocate me. First was $1,000 to be out in 30 days. Second was $2,500 to be out in 30 days. After I got legal help (for three months) from the Northern NJ Legal Associates, I was told I was entitled to $4,700. (Six months rent). Truth was, Penny Mac would be giving me the money AFTER I moved out, something called “Cash For Keys,” which I think is just ridiculous. Where was I supposed to come up with the money, to move out? Also, I have three cats, so finding the right space to accommodate them, is another challenge.
A few days ago, I received notice for a civil action, in a Jersey City court, dated March 29. At this writing I have no money to move, no other place to live, and no legal representation.
I didn’t cause the problem. I didn’t know the rental was allegedly illegal, and no one from the town ever showed up at my door, either, for ten years, to tell me I was living in an “illegal “space.
I’m a senior citizen, on a fixed income, who is presently praying to the Tenant Eviction Gods, that a positive solution will be found.
Many thanks, again, to Ms. Matzner and Mr. Schwartz, for the extremely well-written and well-researched article.
If you can help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.