Lest I propel full throttle into hyperbole, I will simply give you the facts.
Yesterday morning at around 3:30am, I awoke finally rid of a headache from the early evening (I used to have arguments with a dear friend of mine over the difference between tension headaches and migraines. I forgot to ask him if tension headaches make you feel nauseous. Do they?). I got an email from my terrific office assistant who let me know that the house in which I live was to be auctioned at 11:16am that very day.
I wasn't sure what to think. At 8:30am, I headed back to the Landlord and Tenant Resource center and this time, my law student was much less prepared. That's fine, he was probably not expecting a story as mildly interesting as mine.
He sent me off to the Office of Tax and Revenue and at 10:07am, I found it. The notice of foreclosure on the house--it was issued and sent to my landlord by certified mail on August 14th 2008. Truth be told, if I had found out about this a month ago, I would have had to do the same thing: sit and wait.
For now, I have to wait another two days (which probably means Monday) and call the bank to let them know that I (as a tenant) exist* and that my rights of first refusal were ignored. I am acting as a research assistant to my friend, an awesome attorney, who will represent me when and if the time comes.
I have found thus far that the bank is an unfeeling institution. It doesn't have to be feeling. Its job is to make money and as much of it as possible. But the bank made a huge fucking mistake by lending some random dude this much money. Perhaps they vetted him more than John McCain vetted Sarah Palin, but still. It wasn't enough.
My landlord owes half a million dollars on some property and he is nowhere to be found. He has been irresponsible and the bank loses out, I lose out (sure it's just a security deposit, but it is MY money) and we all lose out. The people at Lehman Brothers who weren't saved by Barclays Bank in London (p.s. I love you Barclays! Best Study abroad bank ever!) know this.
I was super upset and rattled by my situation. Not so much anymore. I have answers. That's all I wanted. Now I can move forward and become an expert on DC housing law. Wish me luck, y'all.
*I am in no frame of mind to prove to a bank that I exist otherwise. What a hard philosophical exercise that would be! I'm not in a Cartesian frame of mind this week.