Local News

Vance Leaders Look For Ways To Help Victims Of Home Foreclosures

Posted December 10, 2002

— A recent increase in foreclosures in Vance County has county leaders looking for ways to help victims. The State Attorney General's Office is investigating real estate transactions that have forced hundreds of people out of their homes.

Two years ago, Jeannie Jackson lost the home he bought through Donald Gupton of Creative Real Estate. Jackson said he thought he was only going to pay $300 to $400 a month for the home.

"But then, it went up to $666 and it kept on going up," he said.

Daryl von Williams started United Community Foundation to lobby for the needs of foreclosure victims. She claims residents were duped into chasing an unrealistic destiny, but the expected freedom of homeownership turned into financial bondage.

"So far this year, 243 people have lost their homes," Williams said. "They struggle for about a year, two years tops and they are out of there. They are foreclosed on."

Donald Gupton, who owns Creative Real Estate, Superior Housing and Dynasty Homes, deferred all questions to his attorneys who declined to talk to WRAL. The State Attorney General's Office is investigating.

Meanwhile, county commissioners are setting up a task force to see to the needs of those who lost their homes.

"Some of them have immediate housing needs. Some of them have been displaced and are living with family members," commissioner Terry Garrison said.

"We're trying to get help from anybody and everybody, and if this task force is able to do anything to help the homeowners, we will give them every cooperation and assistance we possibly can," Williams said.

Many of those who experienced foreclosure said they depended on the seller's attorney to represent them at closing. They now say in the future, they will hire their own attorney.

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