Hamilton City Property Dispute

Apr 8, 2011 8:40 PM

Martha and Alfredo Medrano and their two children live in a tiny two bedroom house in Hamilton City. Martha says she used to clean house for the woman who willed it to her. Her husband used to work with former Chief Jose Puente as a firefighter, but he was injured and now cannot work.

They say they trusted their friend to co-sign for them so they could make many needed repairs to the home. But, the Medrano's found out, they can't get a loan because only Puente's name appears on the title. Alfredo says, "We're just asking for the papers for the house so we can fix it.. the house is really messed up. the sink is coming apart and he doesn't want to listen to us."

Although it doesn't appear Puente has done anything illegal, the Medrano's say what he's doing is immoral. They say he borrowed 55 thousand dollars against the house in 2005, and has been repeatedly contacted by the lender. The latest correspondence shows the note in the amount of 55 thousand was originally due in February of last year. The due date was extended twice. Now all the money is due on May 28th, including all past due payments.

If it's not paid, the Medrano's may have to pay the ultimate price. Alfredo's daughter Juana says, "He's saying we have to pay $55,000 that he was the one that made the loan for." Alfredo says, "It's our house, not his house. This house is ours and we will fight for it."

The Medrano's say they've repeatedly tried to contact Puente. Their daughter, who's a senior in high school even created these signs. The family held them recently out in front of Puente's current place of employment...for all to see.

Alfredo says, "I feel betrayed.. He's a good guy." The Medrano's say they don't want this to get any worse and they don't want it to turn into a legal battle. Alfredo says, "I don't want to go to court.. I don't want any enemies. If he has a heart, give us the papers for the house. That's all we're asking for."

Action News did contact Mister Puente to ask him about the loan and whether he intends to pay the money back so the Medrano's will not lose their home. He replied only that he had no comment.


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