DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) - The complaints keep coming about Leonard Bale.
7 Action News Investigator Bill Proctor broke the story about the man who has been selling foreclosed homes to families who say they have lost their lifesavings on these deals. Now one city is taking on Bale, who may be facing major fines.
Leonard Bale will go before a Dearborn Heights board where he already faces $42,000 in fines for failing to maintain rental properties. But those who say they are victims of Bale continues to grow.
“We were making our payments on schedule,” says Clayton Waldroup a father of five.
He says he had hoped that the Dearborn Heights home he thought he was buying from Leonard Bale on a land contract would be the ideal place for his family for years to come.
Like so many of Bale’s customers, Waldroup took advantage of the federal first-time home buyers program, and received a substantial check to fix up the house.
“We moved in. We took the $8,000 we got from the federal government, replaced the furnace. We rewired the home, repaired the plumbing, put new cabinetry in it, refinished the floors, repaired walls, put windows in it,” says Waldroup. “We spent that money, plus all our cash reserves because this was going to be our home.”
But like these families, and so many others who say they are victims Bale, the Waldroups would find out months after buying and renovating, and putting heart and soul into the place that Bale was no longer the owner. They learned their land contract was no good.
“There were foreclosure notices,” says Waldroup, which is how he found out his land contract was no good. “They were taking the property from Mr. Bale. I contacted Mr. Bale he was like, well, I’ve had over a hundred and some people purchase these homes on this program Mr. Obama started .”
Chase Bank has yet to confirm that the company owns the house now, but there is evidence of it.
As of three weeks ago, there was a sign in the window that said, “The property of Chase.” But that sign has disappeared.
“I watched them pull the sticker off the window and then a couple came over, a husband and a wife with a baby,” says Christine Heskett, who lives across the street from the home.
Heskett says she has been watching the house since the Waldroups moved out. Incredibly, she says, Leonard Bale and his employees, like Jeff Opperman, are still showing the house a couple weeks ago.
Wednesday morning Leonard Bale will have to answer Inkster officials about several properties that they say are either not livable and should be condemned or repairs haven't been made, which is a violation of city housing rules.
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