Widow alleges Toronto company duped her dying husband into selling their home

Cathrene Coombes hasn’t fully mourned her husband’s loss of life, since the day after he died she found out she would possibly get kicked out of the only home the couple ever owned.

“This used to be my dream house,” she advised CBC Information. “We labored actually onerous for this position. My grandchildren were raised right here, my nice-grandchildren are raised here … this is my life right here.”

The 65-year old is suing to regain possession of the Kitchener, Ont., house from the Toronto corporate that bought it from her and her husband, Mark Coombes, not up to months before he died in March. In summer time 2020, he had been recognized with terminal lung most cancers, which had unfold to his liver, bones and mind.

The lawsuit alleges that Municipal Town Housing Corp., Go Out It Settlement Consulting and two company directors preyed on the couple and duped them into promoting their area for less than marketplace price by means of telling them that they’d give you the option to live out their lives at the property at no cost. 

The statement of claim additionally argues that the defendants took advantage of Mark’s “dwindled capability” within the overdue ranges of his illness and of Cathrene’s loss of involvement within the couple’s budget. 

Municipal Town Housing and Exit Agreement Consulting and the company directors declined to remark for this story, and feature yet to report statements of defence in the case. The lawsuit has no longer been examined in courtroom.

“All I Need is my area again,” mentioned Cathrene. “And to have those guys stopped because there may be other people out there, they are going to get stung like I did.”

Chilly call approximately liens

She says the placement began in January while she received a cold name from Exit It Agreement Consulting, claiming the company may lend a hand get rid of the couple’s outstanding debt from HVAC apparatus apartment contracts. Cathrene says she referred the caller to her husband, who agreed to permit the corporate send somebody to their house to talk about its services.

Widow alleges Toronto company duped her dying husband into selling their home

Cathrene and Mark offered their house in Kitchener, Ont., for $191,000 to Municipal City Housing in January. Real property information display an analogous semi-detached space on the similar street sold for $535,000 a couple of months later. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC)

The Coombes had previously entered a number of door-to-door apartment contracts for apparatus including a furnace, air conditioner and water softener — the kind of contracts the Ontario government later banned on account of the aggressive sales ways and scams that have been in most cases used to promote them.

for every in their apartment contracts, a notice of security pastime was registered at the title of the Coombes home for the value of the agreement, which ranged from $4,000 to just about $EIGHT,000. 

It was once the ones liens and associated contracts that Jeffrey Drutz, a consultant of Exit It Agreement Consulting, came visiting to discuss with Mark in late January. Drutz provided a copy of a contract for the company’s products and services and got here again to the house quickly after with another guy named Elliot Kasem, according to the observation of declare. 

On Jan. 21, Mark signed a contract with Go Out It Settlement Consulting with a $13,500 deferred price for its products and services assisting the couple in reducing or getting rid of the amounts they owed via their HVAC contracts. the similar day he additionally signed an agreement of purchase and sale for their space with Municipal Town Housing. 

“Mark mentioned he wanted me to be debt loose — did not want me to fret approximately anything else,” stated Cathrene. “He wasn’t doing just right … at that point the cancer was in his mind.”

Bought for $191,000

Within The sale agreement, the Coombes agreed to promote their semi-indifferent space for $191,000. a couple of months later, real estate records show an identical semi-detached space on the comparable street in Kitchener used to be indexed for $419,000 and bought for $535,000.

Drutz and Kasem are both indexed as administrators of Municipal City Housing, in keeping with the corporate’s incorporation report. 

CBC News asked interviews with Drutz, Kasem and the director of Exit It Contract Consulting, but all 3 declined to comment for the reason that matter is before the courts.

WATCH | Coombes reflects on what her home method to her:

Widow alleges Toronto company duped her dying husband into selling their home

Ontario widow desires her ‘dream area’ again

29 minutes ago


Cathrene Coombes reflects on what her Kitchener, Ont., home means to her. The widow is suing to take a look at and get ownership of the house again after her demise husband was allegedly duped into promoting it. ZERO:38

Possession of the home used to be transferred to Municipal Town Housing on Feb. 24 and Mark died lower than a month later on March 17. The Following day, the couple’s longtime friend Dee Hughes came via to comfort Cathrene and was told the couple had offered the house.

“in no time i was like, ‘What? Mark sold the house? What do you mean? Why could he do that?'” Hughes informed CBC Information.

Hughes works in real property and says she quickly requested to look the gross sales agreement.

“there was no situation pointing out that she had a life hire,” she stated. “So I said, ‘Cathy, there is a drawback right here.'”

Hughes has seeing that helped Cathrene hook up with a attorney who in September filed the lawsuit in Ontario Awesome Court to try to get a court docket order moving possession of the home again into her title. 

Widow alleges Toronto company duped her dying husband into selling their home

Family family member Dee Hughes says she’s made up our minds to assist Cathrene get ownership of the home back. (Chris Langenzarde/CBC)

“I DO KNOW what this house means to her, and what it supposed to Mark,” mentioned Hughes.

“We Are going to keep her area, we’re going to search out a way. this is unsuitable and it has to be stopped, and so i’m going to bat for her and Mark’s memory.” 

Property data show Municipal Town Housing owns four other homes in southern Ontario which had HVAC equipment liens on title below the previous owners. 

In at least of those instances, former owners and their circle of relatives instructed CBC News that Go Out It Contract Consulting cold-called the house owners soliciting the corporate’s services to get rid of those liens and related contracts sooner than a consultant of the corporate hooked up them with Municipal Town Housing, which then bought their area. 

None of these earlier owners are disputing the gross sales in court docket like Coombes.

Business relies on assets liens, legal professional says

For years Dennis Crawford says he is observed shoppers pay off $10,000 to $20,000 liens for HVAC rental contracts so that they can sell or refinance their area. 

The Stratford, Ont., legal professional, who’s no longer concerned within the Coombes case, argues that the ones liens are in large part in charge for the continuing victimization of susceptible homeowners.

“this entire surroundings wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the fact that the regulation at this time permits these liens to be registered on title to other people’s homes without the home-owner’s permission and without the house owner being notified,” stated Crawford. 

“If it weren’t imaginable to sign up those liens … that complete trade might disappear in a single day.”


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Crawford says it’s unclear what reliable industrial interest the liens are protective.

“The government ban on door-to-door promoting in the long run wasn’t efficient,” Crawford told CBC News. “they need to have made it illegal to register these liens towards people’s homes.”

Cathrene’s best valuable asset was her house, so she says she does not realize what she’ll do if she’s forced to move. 

“i hope to get my area again.”

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