Foreclosure on the wrong house

Debbie Rolen Staff Writer

August 28, 2013

The little cottage at 39 Godby Street in the Central City (or Slabtown) area of Logan seemed ideal for teacher Nikki Bailey when she was looking for a home. Now, 25 years and a series of tragedies later, Bailey has trouble setting goals for getting back into the home.

At the time the home was purchased, Bailey was a teacher and had only to cross the pedestrian bridge at the end of her driveway to be at work. It was the ideal situation for her.

Bailey has been taking care of her mother and her best friend Patty Mot, spending a lot of time away from home. With where the home is situated, the proximity to the school and nobody being home, vandals were able to break in to splatter the floors, walls and ceilings with paint, drawing offensive pictures, and breaking windows.

Bailey had extreme difficulty going back into the home and healing from the pain of the violation was a slow process. Patty, Bailey’s best friend since second grade, said it took her a while to understand how hard it was for her friend to cope with the intrusion that left her feeling helpless.

Before repairs could be made, the home was struck a second time. This time someone set a fire at one of the doors and it spread. The house was damaged severely by smoke and water, and Bailey quipped she had a “sunroof” as she showed photos of the house with no roof.

The insurance company who handled the claims for both the vandalism and fire cancelled Bailey’s policy and she no longer has insurance on the dwelling.

The icing on the cake was when Bailey made a trip home on August 6. She found a big red truck backed up by her house. When she asked the driver what they were doing, they told her she had been “foreclosed on.” Foreclosure was not a real possibility since the home had been paid for since 1988.

Bailey went into her home and called 911. Police officers arrived and after investigating, found the papers the drivers were going by had the address as 39 Godby Heights, which is off W.Va. Route 10, near Chapmanville, and not 39 Godby Street, Logan.

They unloaded the only things on the truck — a dresser, mirror and chest of drawers. They told Ms. Bailey they had taken all of her other things “to the dump” saying it was “all junk.”

All of her things — furniture from the living room, spare bedroom and kitchen, diplomas from Marshall University, books, 14 bins holding all of her winter clothing, everything out of her closets and drawers, even curtains and the brackets that held up the curtain rods were taken. The only items still in her possession are the things best friend Patty had for safekeeping and the things she had carried to her mother’s home.

Bailey and her friend have been scouring Craig’s List and ads in the paper to try and recover some of her belongings. They believe the belongings weren’t taken to the dump and may turn up for sale somewhere.

Attorney Tim DiPiero is helping Bailey compile a list of everything she has missing. Bailey says the list grows as she thinks of things every day. She also says it is a huge task to try and remember the items, what they cost and how long she had them. To date, no value has been set for the total amount of damage Bailey has suffered because of the foreclosure.

DiPiero is also making an effort to find out which bank or mortgage company had the erroneous address for the foreclosure that stripped his client of her belongings and caused additional damage to her home.