[quote]An 81-year-old woman whose $1.4 million condominium in the Upper Haight was auctioned for half its value now has three days to leave.
“Notice is hereby given that Eugene Gardner has purchased the property at a trustee’s sale and title to the property has been duly perfected,” read a notice posted on the door of Rosemarie Benter’s home, an upstairs unit in a cream-colored Victorian on Page Street.
“Within three days after service of this notice on you, you must vacate the premises and deliver possession of them to the owner or to the undersigned who is authorized to receive the same,” continued the note, which was signed by Gardner’s attorney, Joanna Kozubal.
Benter had unwittingly used the home to secure a $9,519 loan in 2021 to help pay her property tax bill, not realizing that she was at risk of losing it if she defaulted. By last October, the loan, bloated by fees and an 8% interest rate, ballooned to more than $11,000.
When Benter failed to pay it back, the lender foreclosed on her property and Gardner bought it at a trustee’s sale in March. Two nonprofit organizations, the San Francisco Community Land Trust and Legal Assistance to the Elderly, had tried intervening to keep Benter in her home, and district Supervisor Dean Preston said he might seek city funding to help.
The 81-year-old longtime San Francisco resident has survived a stroke and suffers from severe arthritis, and faces an uncertain future if she gets displaced. She has a daughter in Seattle, though her two sons died of AIDS.
“I don’t know what to do,” said Benter, who went to the door Friday afternoon to take down the notice after a reporter informed her about it. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. Are they going to show up on Monday morning with a truck to take me out?”
Kozubal did not return multiple phone calls or an email on Friday, and an attempt to reach Gardner by phone was unsuccessful.