Vickie Peppers had no intention of becoming a homeowner when she checked out a Northside home for rent. But her thoughts changed after she discovered that the owner was Roger Pepples, her old teacher from North Fairmount Elementary.
Vickie Peppers and her former Northside home.|
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
"I never had a house of my own, and I just trusted him," Peppers, 44, says. "I got a lemon of a house."
She says Pepples assured her she could buy the house even though her monthly income, including Social Security disability payments, barely reached $1,000.
Hamilton County Auditor's records show that Pepples' company, Denier Services, paid $10,300 for the house in August 1998. His crews painted and put in new carpet and drop ceilings, then sold the home to Peppers for $55,000 in February 1999.
She didn't haggle. She was surprised she even qualified for a loan. In fact, she may not have.
A lawsuit she filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court contends that a mortgage broker doctored a loan application to say she owned $55,000 in property. According to the lawsuit, loan papers also falsely stated that she provided $12,463 in cash at closing. The suit claimed Pepples made a second mortgage loan of $5,500 to Peppers to cover the downpayment - unbeknownst to her.
Shortly after moving in, Peppers discovered gutters that didn't work, a clogged bathroom sink, blocked plumbing lines and stained ceiling tiles.
After two years, she fell behind in her $464 monthly payments, the bank started foreclosure, and she hired a Legal Aid lawyer. She lost the home, but she received $1,000 from the mortgage broker, Greg Sabbato of First Accord Financial, in an October 2001 settlement.
First Accord won't comment, and Sabbato couldn't be reached. Pepples won't discuss the case. In legal papers, he said he made all repairs that he promised to make and didn't know that the loan application was falsified.
Today, Peppers rents an apartment in the West End with help from federal Section 8 housing vouchers.
"I think it is a good thing to own a home," she says. "But it's best if you know something about it first."
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