Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Fake Sale of House Leaves Her Homeless ; Alaskan Now in Evansville

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Fake Sale of House Leaves Her Homeless ; Alaskan Now in Evansville

Article excerpt

An Alaska woman spent Saturday packing her belongings after she was displaced from the north side home she bought on eBay after police told her the home is owned by the county. "It was mine. I thought I'd never have to worry about me being on the streets again," said Letitia Melendrez while placing her things into a white van.

"This is my new house," she said, looking at the van.

Melendrez, 52, lived in the home at 1111 N. Third Ave. since the beginning of May, after she traveled 3,700 miles from Alaska.

"A cop showed up (Friday) and said, 'What are you doing in this house.' I go, 'I own it.' He said, 'No you don't,'" Melendrez said Saturday afternoon.

The home is owned by the Vanderburgh County Commissioner's Office, but Melendrez said she purchased the home off eBay in April from a seller named "Brandon," with a username of "Premier- RealEstateAssets," for $1,000, plus an additional $795 for closing fees.

She had been awaiting documents from "Brandon" that would show her ownership of the home.

A call from the Courier & Press to "Brandon" using a number provided by Melendrez was not returned Saturday. When dialed, the number, with an area code for Southeastern Wisconsin, went straight to a voice message system that stated the number was for Premiere Real Estate Assets.

She was never sent a key to the home and had to cut the padlocks to get inside when she arrived in Evansville around Mother's Day.

"This is like my gift to myself," she said.

Since May, she's lived in the home without water or power - the house has no fuse box and is without an electric meter.

Friday morning, Angela Bullock, a local Realtor, drove by the home and called the police when she saw people inside. Bullock told investigators that she was interested in buying the home and said she knew that it had liens against it. The property is scheduled for auction Aug. …

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