Here’s a different twist.
A real estate salesperson is actually hoping not to sell a listing he has in the Edmonton real estate market.
Instead, Ken Morrison of Re/Max Excellence is helping an elderly couple in their 80s – Eric and Jean Bishop – keep their home from being foreclosed by the bank and the court by setting up a GoFundMe campaign. Early in May it had raised $15,000 in 28 days with a goal to raise $325,000.
In January, Morrison was given the foreclosure property to sell in the community of Fulton Place, but he found out that the Bishops had lived in the home since 1967. The home was the original homestead of the area, where a dairy farm was built around 1905.
The Bishops’ predicament developed after there was a disruption with their direct withdrawal monthly mortgage payment in 2017 due to technical issues. That led them to be $40,000 to $50,000 in arrears, but they didn’t have the money to pay.
“This foreclosure has deeply affected myself and my wife Richelle as well as other Realtors and friends I’ve shared this story with,” says Morrison. “It has touched many hearts and I just can’t sit back and do nothing,” he says.
“After meeting with the homeowner Eric Bishop, I could see the passion and love he and his wife Jean have for the home. He has told me stories of the area, showed me a mural he painted of the original dairy farm that’s proudly displayed across the wall of the sitting room.”
Morrison says the Bishops don’t deserve to be thrown out of their home.
“I would like to raise $325,000, which is what the bank is asking for the home to stop this nonsense. These sweet people should be allowed to remain in their home as long as they please and I would like to help that happen by raising enough to buy the home and give the Bishops free title. At that point they can stay, sell or do what they wish with the home on their terms, not the bank/courts,” writes Morrison on the GoFundMe site.
Morrison says the court order was signed last June and the Bishops had six months to make things right.
“We listed the property but I didn’t really push it. It wasn’t a house that I was really excited to sell,” he says.
“We decided to start a GoFundMe and we’re going to try and buy the house for them and give it back to them. I set the GoFundMe at $325,000 because that was the list price. Whatever I get is going to them. In the meantime, we found out that the arrears is between $40,000 and $50,000. So, my goal right now is to raise that and just get it out of foreclosure… I can continue to try and raise more. Ultimately I’d like to give them the house. I think they deserve it. I think they deserve to leave that home by choice and not by force.”
The Bishops got into the situation when years ago they took out another mortgage on the home after they had initially paid it off. They needed money for home repairs and maintenance.
“I’ve been doing this for 19 years and I’ve said this on the news and I’ve said it elsewhere, this is the only house I’ve ever not wanted to sell,” says Morrison.
“Everybody’s been supportive.”
The home was officially listed for sale on the market on March 12.
“It’s been a lovely old house. It’s been a home for our children and our grandchildren too,” said Jean Bishop in a television interview with Global News. “I always felt secure that we always paid the mortgage.”
“The money has always been there for them (the bank) to take and if they didn’t take it we don’t know why they didn’t take it,” said Eric Bishop on the television interview.