If there's one thing the recession has taught America, it's that if you can't pay your mortgage, you can lose your home.
But if you're a renter who is keeping up with your bills, you could end up homeless too. That's what Allen Rhodes of Tampa, Fla. learned when he returned from a trip to find his apartment building foreclosed on and his apartment empty.
According to Rhodes, he never received an eviction notice.
There was no doubt, though, that he had been evicted. The apartment was empty - no clothes, no furniture, no personal belongings. He thinks everything he owned might have been taken out to the curb and left there. "I saw people wearing my clothes right after I was kicked out,'' Rhodes said.
At 39, Rhodes became homeless began living in his 1991 Honda Prelude.
After filing a case against the finance company that evicted him, Rhodes was allowed back into his apartment and the finance company was ordered to reimburse him for his losses.
After the hearing, [his lawyer Paul] Rebein called it a small victory for people affected by the housing crisis through no fault of their own.
But when Rhodes moved back into his old apartment, he found things were far from what he remembered.
Some of the walls had been kicked in, and the appliances and toilet didn't work. He was forced to use the few pieces of clothing he had to cover the windows. The emptiness was a reminder of everything he had lost.
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