Jan. 17, 2016
If Louie Painter hadn't purchased a new car in April, he wouldn't have a home.
The 71-year-old retired veteran had been living a nomadic life in the wake of his divorce in 2007, traveling to military bases across the country while living in the back of his truck.Jodie Barnes, ACCESS housing counselor, left, Louie Painter and Dave StrubleLithia Chrysler Superstore salesman, stand outside Painter's home on Friday.Barnes and Struble helped Painter get back into a home he didn't even know heowned. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch
But that began to change in April when he traded in the truck, and by May he was living in the 2,600-square-foot east Medford home he previously thought he no longer owned.
It was while Painter was at the Lithia Chrysler Superstore trading in his truck for a new black Dodge Challenger that friend and salesman Dave Struber told him he would've qualified for a lower interest rate if he didn't have a house in foreclosure.
“If the car dealer who was selling him a car didn’t tell him, he still wouldn’t know,” ACCESS housing counselor Jodie Barnes said.
The news was a complete surprise to Painter, who was renting a home at the time he bought the vehicle.
"He was just living his merry way, assuming he was not a homeowner anymore," Barnes said. Painter had purchased the home in 2006 with his former wife, Nancy, but when they divorced, he left possession of it with her, or so he thought. He recalled signing documents authorizing a short sale while on the road and sending them to his ex-wife via fax. He had put the home along with much of his previous life behind him.
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