64-year-old Cindy Thoreson’s home was recently sold – and nearly all of her personal belongings are now someone else’s.
“I think the buyer’s being a bit of a Scrooge,” she said.
Thoreson says her bank foreclosed on her home in 2018 when she was unable to pay her mortgage.
Because of health issues including severe arthritis, Thoreson says she had to stop working in 2015, cashing in her RRSPs to pay for her mortgage and property tax for her mother’s home in Moose Jaw, which she inherited in 2012.
In 2017 Thoreson says she applied for disability payments, which weren’t enough to afford both homes. She says the city of Moose Jaw took her mother’s home and shortly after came the foreclosure of her home in Saskatoon.
She says her home was put up for sale in July 2021 and sold to Darwin Dolgopol in September.
Thoreson says on Dec. 2 she was given 10 minutes to collect her things before she was required to vacate.
“I raced through the house like a crazy person, grabbed my suitcase, tossed in my hairdryers, my prescription medications, a change of clothing,” she said.
“Things that weren’t necessarily the most important, just because it was such a surprise to me.”
According to Thoreson, Dolgopol won’t let her reclaim any of her things, including family portraits, photographs, family bibles, jewelry, and even her mother and grandmother’s cremated remains.
She says Dolgopol has also claimed possession of inventory from her mother’s old store, totalling up to $15,000.
“I don’t know how anybody can buy a house, knowing they’re buying the house and then when they get there and see that there’s a lot of not just personal items, but some valuable inventory items, say ‘Oh gosh, this is now mine,’” she said.
She says it’s led to her living in a subsidized apartment rented by the Saskatoon Housing Authority, with very few of her personal belongings, no couch, no tables and even no bed. She sleeps on a three-inch thick foam mat on the floor.
“I just didn’t expect to be sitting here with none of my furniture,” she said.
“It’s kind of like I’ve been mugged, and the person that mugged me has emptied my wallet and is willing to sell it back to me if I pay him a finder’s fee.”
After CTV News reached out to Dolgopol, Thoreson says he contacted her telling her he wanted “nothing to do with the situation.”
LAW FIRM ‘DELIBERATELY’ REFUSED HER CALLS
Dolgopol did not legally own her possessions immediately after buying the property.
Thoreson says she was told to call the lawyer her bank had hired, Jim Kroczynski with DBK Law in Regina, to coordinate moving her personal belongings out of the house before the Dolgopol was officially given the keys — a span of five days.
After repeated phone calls, emails, and faxes, she says she never got a response from Kroczynski until after the five days had elapsed.
“(He) told me that he wasn’t in a position to give me access because the transaction was complete, the keys had been handed over, and I would need to contact the buyer,” she said.
CTV News reached out to DBK Law but did not receive a response.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable, and I certainly don’t think it’s fair when the law firm in question deliberately refuses to speak with the foreclosed person about removing their belongings,” said Thoreson.
“There were five days there that I was actively trying to get someone from the law firm to return my call and allow me access, and that’s the part I can’t believe, that the legal system will allow that.”
She says had she been given access by Kroczynski during those five days, she would have her belongings and the situation could have been avoided.
AN EMPTY HOME
Thoreson says Dolgopol told her he’s willing to let her have some of the items, but she doesn’t expect to get them back.
“He won’t allow me to have licensed, bonded movers go in and finish the process and remove what remains, and he doesn’t really think there’s anything of value left anyway,” she said.
“Even if it may be legal that technically he now owns the house and contents, to me any reasonable person would say ‘Well let her get them out.’”
She says friends have given her some cookware, but her apartment is bare and she says she won’t be able to fill it.
“I am just on a disability income, I don’t have financial resources to buy kitchen cookware or furnish any kind of basic tables,” she said.
“I feel a little bit like a Grinch has visited me.”