All she had was 48 hours to clear out her belongings and vacate the house where she had lived for three years.
One day last September, Gladys Flores received an unexpected visit from the owner of the property she rented in Little Havana. She had not seen him for months. Flores had religiously deposited the $600 monthly rent. The landlord came to inform her that the house had been repossessed by the bank.
``He told us, `Either I call the police and you take everything out or I put a lock on the door so you cannot get in,' '' recalled Flores, a 53-year-old Peruvian immigrant who lives with her husband and makes a living as a housekeeper.
The Flores had no money to rent a moving truck, so they took all their possessions -- in a shopping cart -- and left in fear, without filing a complaint with authorities.
Since the onset of the foreclosure crisis, tens of thousands of renters in South Florida have suffered the fate of the Floreses. They have been tossed out by banks and landlords essentially overnight with no mercy, and without any protection from the state of Florida.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that 40 percent of the households that lose their homes to foreclosure are renters. It stands to reason that in the city of Miami, where 64 percent of homes are rentals and there are 25,000 foreclosures in process, the proportion is much higher.
Read the complete story at miamiherald.com