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Families once doomed by foreclosure get to keep their homes

The Risingers had a rent-to-own agreement, but they're now getting a loan directly from the bank.

November 02, 2011|by Linda Russell, KY3 News | lrussell@ky3.com

SPOKANE, Mo. -- People who were sure they were being forced out of their home a few weeks ago now have good news.  They can thank a bank that had a change of heart.

The Risingers and many of their neighbors learned officially on Oct. 12 that their homes were going into foreclosure through no fault of their own.  That's the day the foreclosure notices were published in the Christian County newspaper for 16 houses -- nine in Spokane, seven in Nixa. 

Even though the Risingers had kept up on their payments, the future looked grim three weeks ago.  Ernie Risinger was sure he, his wife and 11-year-old daughter were going to have to move. 

"Right now, the bad thing is, it's in limbo," Risinger said on Oct. 12.

The Risingers and many others had a 30-year rent-to-own agreement with Harold Rogers. When People's Bank decided not to renew Roger's short term construction loans, multiple families found out their homes were going into foreclosure. 

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Risinger was most concerned for his daughter. 

"For her to have to pick up and move, it was killing us," he said.

Back then, the Risingers never guessed what would be happening now. 

"There will actually be a deed, and our name will be on the deed," Risinger said on Wednesday. 

People's Bank is now offering financing to the Risingers and their neighbors, regardless of credit history or income, only depending on their payment history.

"It's a really cool deal," said Risinger. 

The bank is even dropping more than $50,000 off the original cost of the Risingers' house.  It's an amazing deal, considering Ernie Risinger is still unemployed.

"Melinda, my wife, told me the gentleman at the bank said that, had it not been for us, actually, his words were, if I hadn't been on the news and told the story, then this wouldn't have happened," Risinger said.

Now, with plans to close on the loan Friday, the Risingers are more excited than ever to call their house their home. 

"Now, we're truly living the American dream, because we're actually going to have a loan with the bank," Risinger said.  "It's just great."

People's Bank had no comment on Wednesday.  It's not clear if it's financing all 16 homes.  A reporter was not able to reach Harold Rogers for a comment, but the Risingers say he'll guarantee the loans, like a co-signer.

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