What if a cash for keys deal falls through?

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - Less than six months after moving into this 5-bedroom rental in Loxahatchee, Glen McCoy was told to start packing.  

"In June they start knocking on our door, a Realtor that says ‘I can give you cash for the keys. I can give you $1,200 and 10 days to move out'," McCoy said.

He showed NewsChannel 5 he paid $5,000 to move in, and planned on staying for three years. But the home was being sold.

"The cash for the keys was because they wanted the home right away," McCoy said.

It's a tactic banks and new buyers use for foreclosures and short sales.

After months of negotiating with a law firm representing the bank, McCoy finally made a deal.

"Their last and final offer was they were going to give us $5,000," McCoy said.

But he and his family was late moving out. McCoy was told the deal was off.

"We realize we were a couple of days late. Why they don't want to honor their deal so we can get out of their house and let them go forth and let us go forth with our life is beyond me," McCoy said.

Real Estate attorney Shari Olefson said there's nothing McCoy can do.

"There's no legal right to get cash for keys and if you're a tenant in a property, your rights are what's reflected in your lease, and if you have no lease than your rights are what's reflected the statutes for what's essentially a verbal month-to-month tenant. End of discussion. You're not entitled to money," Olefson said.

McCoy never signed a lease. Olefson said without it, the bank can call all the shots.

"This money in essences is a bribe to get out of the property. A legal bribe to get out of the property and not deface it," Olefson said.

"It's fair to us because now they're wanting the house and we have to relocate," McCoy said.

McCoy eventually received $2,500 to move out. Ofleson said it's still a better deal for the bank because it's cheaper than an eviction.

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