New owner of foreclosed home can't get into mailbox

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PHOENIX -- A Valley woman made the biggest purchase of her life -- a new home. And although everything went smoothly, she did have one problem. So, she contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

Let's face it, buying a home can sometimes be a little nerve racking. For many folks, the entire process is like an emotional roller coaster.

Will your loan be approved? Is the paperwork filled out correctly? Will the whole transaction go through or not?

These are issues Allison Jenkins had to deal with but after she was all done, she still had one little problem.

Jenkins is a first-time homebuyer who was pretty jittery going through the whole process.

"I was most concerned about the house inspection not coming back right," Jenkins said.

But the inspection went just fine. Her loan was approved and in no time Jenkins was the proud new owner of a home that had been foreclosed on.

"This is the eighth house I put an offer in on and I just guess it was meant to be," she said. "I was supposed to buy this house, actually."

For Jenkins, it was a done deal. She had cleared every real estate hurdle and was ecstatic that everything had gone smoothly.

But then, there was an issue with getting her mail.

"Nobody will tell me which mailbox is even mine," Jenkins said.

Jenkins has been in her home for weeks and not only has she not been told which mailbox is hers, but even if she knew, she doesn't have a key.

"I can't seem to get a key from anybody," she said.

Jenkins says the bank that owned the home, along with the realtor that sold it, have blown her off.

So, she went to the post office several times and asked them to simply re-key her mailbox, but they kept telling her "go to your landlord."

"And I explained to them over and over and over I own the house. I'm the owner. I'm the landlord," Jenkins said.

In the meantime, mail, including Jenkins' first mortgage statement, her electric bill and other important documents, were stacking up inside one of the boxes and she couldn't get to them.

"I would love for 3 On Your Side to get my mailbox key," she said.

3 On Your Side found out the post office didn't own the mailboxes so they couldn't do anything.

We were referred to the homeowners association but were told it doesn't have mailbox keys.

Fortunately, though, a post office employee finally listened to Jenkins' plight, drove over to her mailbox and after opening that box, gave Jenkins all her mail.

Now Jenkins can really start enjoying her home.

"I'm really thrilled I have a house and I can't stop smiling," she said.

But what about that key? Well, 3 On Your Side found out you can buy a brand-new mailbox lock and key for less than $10 from any home improvement store.

That's exactly what Jenkins did. 3 On Your Side was going to have the lock installed for her, but she beat us to the punch and had her dad put it in.

There is a huge inventory of bank-owned homes here in the Valley so if you buy one and don't get a mailbox key, don't stress out. Just head to the nearest Home Depot or Lowe's.