Landlord featured in On Your Side report arrested in alleged rental scheme
BATON ROUGE - A man accused of not paying the mortgage for a home he was renting to a woman and her four grandchildren has been arrested on theft charges.
We spoke with Francis Cain in 2017 when she first discovered she might be forced to move out of the home she'd been renting for years. Cain first spoke with the property owner in 2015 after she found an ad for the home on Craigslist.
"A great offer, $10,000 down and paying $650 a month for 15 years," she said.
But Cain learned the man who leased the Baton Rouge home to her hadn't been paying the mortgage. Cain thought she was paying for an opportunity to one day buy the house, but she instead had to move out entirely after the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office delivered paperwork for a Notice of Seizure.
The home price was $105,000. Cain says she put $10,000 down and was working to pay off the existing $95,000 balance by making monthly payments of $650. She entered into the agreement in September 2015 to pay on the existing mortgage granted by Alex Hamilton Jr., of Hamilton Investment Properties Community Housing, Inc. and made her first $650 payment that October.
Receipts show Cain paid that $650 in cash each month, excited about the goal of owning her own home.
Soon after the seizure notice, Hamilton filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
"It really just like startled me because I had faithfully been paying my note every month," said Cain.
Cain tells 2 On Your Side that Hamilton recently posted paperwork on her door alerting her of the Chapter 13 filing along with a Wells Fargo statement from July 2017.
The Wells Fargo paperwork showed no transactions have happened on the loan for the entire year. Unpaid payment and late charges total $13,114.73. A handwritten note says the $650 she's been paying for more than two years was not applied to the house she's living in and that an additional payment of $709.58 must be paid directly to the bank.
"It's like $2,000 has been paid on the note since I first purchased the house in 2015," said Cain.
Arrest records released Wednesday say Hamilton used two of the checks to pay the retainer at a law firm he'd hired. It's unclear what he did with the rest of the money.
Hamilton was arrested for felony theft this week and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Gov. Edwards surveys flooding damage on Hwy 70
Assumption Parish braces for Morganza Spillway opening
Bayou Country Superfest returns to Baton Rouge
DOTD deploys 100-foot sand sacks and aqua dams in effort to minimize...
Governor: Bayou Chene barge flood gate will be in place for Morganza...