During the summer of 2005, REO agent Ken Childress ended up with a listing in western Kentucky, about twenty miles from his office.
When Childress arrived at the property, he found the home to be occupied. Over the next few days, he returned several times to offer the owner cash for keys in the amounts of $1,000, and later $1,500. The homeowner refused both offers but did allow Childress to enter the home.
Although Childress had been doing REO sales for more than a decade, nothing prepared him for what he found. Only a small walkway between the living room and hallways remained empty. The rest of the house was covered with stacks of boxes, some reaching as high as 5-feet. Not to mention, trash and nearly a dozen cats.
“The owner was a 300-pound lady that was a beauty school teacher in the area,” said Childress. “There were paperbacks, beauty school books, and other various books everywhere.”
The occupant had stored a bedroom and an attic nearly full of new and used make-up. “There was enough cosmetics to start a fully stocked drug store,” Childress remembers.
When the sheriff asked her to leave the premises, the homeowner simply dumped her cats on the street, upsetting many of the neighbors.
One week after Childress took legal possession of the property and changed the locks, a clean-up crew, consisting of a man and his wife, were hired.
As the couple entered the home, they were greeted by an unidentified odor, which sent the wife running outside for fresh air.
“Back behind some boxes and junk in a corner were two of the lady’s dead cats,” remembers Childress. “After getting the dead cats out, we had to leave the house open for a few days to air out before finishing.”
It took sixteen trips with a pick-up and a 12-foot trailer to empty the 5-bedroom house. Childress says 45 days passed before he received an acceptable offer on the home.
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