Strangers Raise $128,000 for Elderly Couple Evicted From Home - NBC Bay Area

Strangers Raise $128,000 for Elderly Couple Evicted From Home

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    Courtesy/Doug Emerson
    Hank and Helen Kawecki were given 60 more days on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 to remain in their Thousand Oaks home. They've alleged in a civil lawsuit that their grandson defrauded them of the house.

    Family, friends and strangers helped make a dream become a reality this week for an elderly couple who faced eviction in a legal dispute over their home.

    Hank and Helen Kawecki, 87 and 88, respectively, were able to purchase a mobile home, thanks to a gofundme account that raised more than $128,000.

    "People felt very badly that they'd been cheated by their own grandson," said the couple's attorney, Ed Elrod. "They were able to buy a home. It's a place to hang your hat. But nothing like their ranch-style home with a pool."

    The Kaweckis were supposed to be out of their home by a deadline at 5 p.m. on Tuesday after they entered into a private settlement agreement with Coastal Capital, the company that owns the home.

    "I think they're crushed," said Elrod. "They had to settle because it was damaging to their health."

    He said that someone offered them a home free of charge in North Carolina, but they passed up on it because they didn't feel like they were healthy or strong enough to relocate, Elrod added.

    The couple was thrust into the public spotlight when word spread about their pending eviction from the house they owned for half a century.

    They said they were being kicked out after their grandson defrauded them out of the deed, defaulted on loans and lost the house to foreclosure in a case Ventura County Sheriff's Department detectives were investigating.

    The status of the case was not immediately known. A department spokesman didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

    Doug Emerson, the couple's neighbor, told NBC4 after the story broke that their grandson convinced them to turn the deed over to him with the promise of supporting them financially for the rest of their lives.

    The grandson mortgaged the property with loans, defaulted on the loans and lost the home, Elrod said.

    The Kaweckis have filed a lawsuit alleging fraud.