Take Half Or Leave It: How Safeguard Properties Buys Off The Owners
We were recently contacted by a Kim Rebbe (Rebbe) whom claimed to have owned a property located at 7916 W. Washington Street Belleville, IL. She had initially reached out to a freelance journalist we have occasion to work with and she ultimately had requested that we cover this story. As part of the background, we reached out to Safeguard Properties (SGP) Director of Public Relations, Diane R. Fusco, and received absolutely no reply. Nothing new, though, for SGP. Hunker down, weather the storm. We additionally reached out to Brent Wilder, Communications Manager of Huntington National Bank, whom stated,
At this time, Huntington is choosing to not comment on this matter.
Huntington is alleged to have originally foreclosed upon Rebbe. In fairness to Huntington, they followed the letter of the law and were wise to insulate themselves by and through Safeguard Properties. That much of the story seems to be legal. The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say, is mired in one of the most illegal and outlandish epic tales of insanity I have reviewed, to date!
Moving Trucks Instead of Clean Out Trailers
Ms. Rebbe admits that she had been foreclosed upon at 7916 West Washington Street, Belleville, IL, by Huntington National Bank (Huntington). She told Foreclosurepedia that during the process she had been preparing for an Estate Sale; a sale to help her finance the ongoing lives of her and her children. Rebbe is a single mother. She had hired Cynthia Rush to help itemize and display well over $20,000 worth of possessions for a sale which was to occur within days.
- Friday, November 21st, 2012, I noticed a sign had been posted on the door of my home stating: IMPORTANT please call SafeGuard Properties , etc.
I immediately called SafeGuard Properties as the notice instructed me to and spoke to a gentleman (whose name I did not record) explaining that I was the property owner of the home @ 7916 W. Washington St. Belleville, IL. He asked me if the property was abandoned? I emphatically replied “No”! “I am preparing for an estate sale.” I told him I would be completely vacated from the property by December 15th, 2012. He replied that as long as I kept in contact with SafeGuard, my belongings and household goods would be protected. I specifically requested Safeguard call me if I needed to vacate prior to the 15th, and this gentleman ASSURED me I would be contacted if I needed to vacate prior to the 15th. And I regarded that as an at will agreement of tenancy until December 15th, 2012. (Cell phone records can be produced to show these call took place on the above date)
Safegaurd Properties (SGP) apparently was to have no part of any “Estate Sales” as they dispatched Sanja Sasvari (Sasvari), owner of Top Mop Cleaning Services of St. Louis, MO, to handle the debris removal. She is also listed in the Immigrant Business Listings provided by the International Institute of Saint Louis. As we all know, one man’s junk is another’s treasure!
Rebbe states that she had come back to her residence and noticed, “a sticker” on the home. Alluding to the Occupancy Verification, she states she contacted SGP to inform them that the property was indeed occupied. Within 96 hours SGP had chosen to ignore her and dispatched Sasvari to do the clean out. Apparently, a neighbor notified Rebbe about “moving vans” loading her furniture and belongings in violation of local, state and federal laws.
Rebbe returned to her property to confront the perpetrators of the grand larceny occurring at her home. Several workers claimed to be extremely concerned stating,
All three of them apologized profusely, and admitted that they knew something was wrong, as they had NEVER cleaned out a house so full of beautiful things and furnishings! Their job was to clean the property, not to discard a lifetime of goods and memories. One employee even remarked he had called his mother to inform her something was very wrong, as he had never seen a house so full of furniture being ripped apart and destroyed.
Apparently, Sasvari drove from St. Louis to Bellville, a 25 minute drive depending where Sasvari was, and stated to Rebbe she had ordered all of the contents to be “…taken to the dump.” Odd, as Rebbe’s neighbor had stated “Moving Vans” had been used to remove all of Rebbe’s property according to Rebbe.
I [Rebbe] called the local landfills- Roxana Landfill (dispatcher Milan) and Belleville Landfill (dispatcher Darlene Witt) and after conversing with the dispatchers on duty neither landfill had a record of the contents of my home being dumped. Additionally, electronics are prohibited from being dumped in landfills, and I had three TV’s and gaming equipment, satellite dishes, etc that could NOT have been discarded as I was told. So upon Ms. Sasvari’s arrival, I confronted her with this information, and demanded to know where my belongings were. I KNEW she was lying about the whereabouts of my household goods and she knew I knew she was lying! She hastily left, but not before she admitted to me she had been in the property over the weekend and saw the rented banquet tables, and many, many items tagged with prices for sale. She admitted she suspected the property was NOT ABANDONED! This was a full three days prior to her coming in and taking every last thing I owned away. She answered two subsequent calls and then threatened me and refused to return my calls or answer further questions as to where she had taken, and more importantly, how she had disposed of all my goods and belongings.
Hunker down, Weather the Storm
For seven months Safeguard Properties (SGP) began running Rebbe through the wringer. Bounced from one “Claims Rep” to another, Rebbe stated she felt like she was, “…getting the run around on purpose.” Where was Huntington? As you may remember, Huntington National Bank apparently had hired Safeguard Properties to handle the unpleasantness of doing away with the homeowner and her property. No one really knows. The reality is that the legal process for Huntington and Safeguard Properties to follow requires an Eviction to proceed even if Rebbe had NEVER contacted Safeguard Properties! Why? The value of the possessions in the property! The Police? Well, we all know their position: “It’s a Civil Matter.” It’s always a Civil Matter until someone gets hurt.
Foreclosurepedia Enters the Fray
I usually do not dabble around in homeowner’s issues with National Order Mills such as Safeguard Properties. Why? Well, the National, Regional and Otherwise Unspecified Order Mills never give two shits about anyone let alone a homeowner. The plight of Rebbe hit home, though. A single mother trying to provide for her children was fresh on my mind as we recently helped a Contractor move whom had lost her house due to cut throat tactics by a National Order Mill. So, we published nothing more than a Lead In on this story. Huntington had replied within several hours of the Zero Dark Thirty Update and Rebbe states that Safeguard Properties offered her, “Ten Thousand to settle by the close of business today,” within seven hours.
The last conversation I had with Rebbe, I told her that Safeguard Properties would probably bind her to a Non Disclosure Clause. She had inquired if she should go to Court; she had been having difficulties in finding an attorney. I told her it would be unprofessional for me to opine either way. I stated that Foreclosurepedia would honor her decisions either way. To date, Rebbe has not responded to any of our calls or emails.
Reflections Upon Tragedy
Looking back upon this Story, I am deeply troubled. While it is unprofessional to ever become emotionally involved with any of my material or protagonists, it is impossible sometimes. Here is a woman, a single mother, whom Society has really kicked in the gut. Having a man walk out upon a woman and her children would send many women over the edge. It didn’t Rebbe. She continued to fight for both her and her children. Then, due to economic pitfalls; decisions made by suits and ties for the most part, she was unable to even keep the roof over her children’s heads. Boxing up her memories and important documents, she did what any caring parent would do: sell off what she could to ensure her children could eat. At least she thought she would.
Rebbe was not as fortunate as Robert Klein or Sasvari; she had a date with destiny. She followed the letter of the law believing that others would do the same.
I relied on the time frame I was given by SafeGuard to be completely vacated from my former residence, which was December 15th, 2012. No one from SafeGuard notified me, either in writing or via phone call that a different deadline had been imposed.
Not only did Sasvari’s crew remove everything not nailed down, including the appliances, they took birth certificates, financial documents — they even took the trophies which her children had earned. Items which could never be replaced; a lifetime of memories, discarded like chaff during harvest.
Ladies and gentleman, this is not a singular issue. If you look at the listing of litigation pending against Safeguard Properties it reads much like a Grand Jury Docket call. While many will just chock it up to life; while many will say, “At lest she got half after you raised the alarm,” I am deeply troubled. Being an agnostic I am rarely concerned with the trivialities of religion. Good and evil are mere abstractions to me. For those, though, whom purport to be religious one must inquire what their G-d thinks of them.
If you are a property owner whom has had their property illegally taken while under foreclosure or your property has been mistakenly (or perhaps not mistakenly) broken into, we would love to hear from you!