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Elderly Abilene woman says she is being forced to auction mobile homes

ABILENE, Texas - An elderly Abilene woman is being forced to auction her mobile homes at Hartford Village after she says the property manager suddenly stopped accepting her checks.

Her problem all stems from a few broken windows on one of her 11 trailers in the mobile home community.  

Helen Hames, 85, says the property manager at Hartford Village, James Graenser, did not inform her the city of Abilene had left a notice on her trailer’s door. The notice stated the trailer was out of code compliance and that the windows needed to be repaired.

“They put pieces of plywood and said, ‘It’s $1,700 Mrs. Hames,’” said Patti Hames, Helen’s youngest daughter.

However, Hames said Graenser could not provide receipts to show the work completely added up to $1,700.

Hames said when she refused to pay the invoice, Graenser stopped accepting her lot rent, and the situation worsened for her.

“I told [Lot Owner Joseph Hantman], I said they won’t take my money. I don’t understand why.  They won’t take my rent,” said Hames.

She said she had contacted Hantman, who lives in California, since August. However, that did nothing to help her situation. Hantman, who is hard of hearing, referred her to his caretaker in Abilene, who happened to be James Graenser.  

Despite accepting to pay the $1,700 invoice from the lot manager, she says Graenser has given her two months to remove her trailers from the property because she no longer has a contract with Hartford Village. She said Graenser told her she can remain there if she pays $2,200 a month, which is more than double the amount she has paid for numerous years.

“I can’t get rid of 11 trailers overnight,” said Hames. “I just cried and cried. I don’t know what to do.”

The widow depends on the income from the mobile homes to support herself.

She has had the mobile homes for 20 years and has paid Hartford Village around $200,000 in lot rent and she says she simply wants things to remain the same for her.

KTXS attempted to contact Graenser multiple times, but he has not returned our calls.


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