The Price of "Cash-4-Keys!"

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois

"Cash 4 Keys" is a familiar term for Realtors who list foreclosures.  It means the Lender who has foreclosed on the property has hired a Realtor to negotiate with Owner to clean-up, clean-out, and cooperate with moving out of the home in exchange for some cash to help ease their moving expenses.

Working in the Chicago South-side urban marketplace I am some times called upon by Realtor friends who fear these marketplaces to meet with these distressed Owners, tour the home, take photos, give them a check for their efforts, meet with Locksmiths to change the locks, and install a lockbox.

It is a natural instinct for me to be very aware of my surroundings, and watch for any surprises.

Yesterday I got a surprise and found myself so angry with myself for freezing like I did.

I had finished taking all the photos, gave the Owner a check, and was waiting for the Locksmith.  The house was smelly and musty, so I decided to to sit on the front stoop while I waited for the Locksmith.

The Owner came to the front door to say he was just about finished with moving all of his personal items out of the home. He said Dale I'd better give you a warning.  The next door neighbor has vicious dog I fear.  When he lets the dog out into the back yard he has learned to dig under the fence, gets out and terrorizes me.

No sooner did he tell this, there is this brown female Rottweiler with my right leg in her mouth.  This brave Owner burst out the front door and yells at the dog to release me.  I am in shock as I watch blood running down my leg.  The dog's Owner hears the noise and ushers the dog back into the home.

A standard urban Chicago south-side home sits on about a 25 foot wide lot.  This dog only had to travel about 15 feet from their side door, under the fence, and around to the front porch to attack me in my seated position. I have on shorts.

This courageous Owner now runs next door to get the dog's Owner to come back out side to deal with this situation.

The funny thing about shock is I was not feeling much pain from the bite.  As I started to accept I allowed this dog to bite me, and I did not fight it off, I began to get mad at myself.  As the dog's Owner approaches me he is very calm and appears to be remorseful.

I get my thinking together enough to ask him if the dog's shots are up to date.  He tells me he does not know. 

When I take photos of a subject property, I always include a photo of the block to remind me of the condition of the other homes, and to help the potential Buyers to get an idea of how the block is kept.

I remember noticing this home next door to the west of the subject foreclosed property, thinking it is maintained probably worst than the foreclosure.  While sitting there bleeding I started to have compassion for this Man.  I thought he probably needed the dog to feel safe, to keep the home from being broken in on.  I figured since he could barely maintain the home, he probably could not afford the Veterinary care for the dog.

Again, I began to get angry with myself.  Here I am the victim, and I'm feeling sorry for this Man?  What foolishness!  I tell him I really don't want to see the dog put down, but I've got to take of my business now.  I Dial 911. 

This was a first time experience for me.  The Operator keeps me calm and sends for help while I listen.  I explain to her the Police need to come because I've been bitten by dog with no up to date shots.  Not even 2 minutes later I can hear the sirens coming to my aid.

Both a fire truck and an ambulance come to see about me.  No police.  As the Paramedics approach me they say we have to ask you if you want us to take you to the hospital.  They go on to say if I were you I would go.  A large chunk of gauze is taped on my leg.  Because this house is on a dead-end street, I have to walk half a block to the ambulance as I can feel the wetness of my blood in my shoe.

In the ambulance the Paramedic ask for my identification.  He looks at my address and says Frankfort, Illinois?  He looks at me and says you live there?  He says that's a long way from the Ghetto.  He asks what are you doing in this neighborhood?  He concludes with I hope it was to conduct some short business?  I elect not answer his questions.

It is about a 5 minute trip to Jackson Park Hospital.  I am so glad this hospital is nearby.  I am immediately taken into emergency. 

The Urban environment becomes so real to me.  This hospital is old, and just appears unclean to me.  In an Urban environment where there is a different English language spoken.  Many know it as a term called "Ghetto."  There is a natural "nice-nasty" attitude that accompanies this language.   

Numerous years working in this environment I know how change this atmosphere by giving respect, showing lots of appreciation, and allowing the power of my charm to force people to loosen up from that "nice-nasty" conduct. 

I am asked to sit in a chair next to two other patients in pain.  A gentleman ask me for my insurance card and to fill out a form.  I comply.  A Nurse tells me I am now being fast-track.  Perhaps because I am a rare patient with good insurance?  I hope it is really because I am polite, and respectful?  About 20 minutes later another Nurse takes my temperature, and checks my blood pressure.  I'm asked about whether I have any health issues.  None that I know of I tell her.

She looks down at my right leg and sees the gauze is saturated with my blood.  About another 20 minutes goes by and I'm told I may need an x-ray of my leg, a techna shot, and given an antibiotic.  I am told I'm they are not equipped at this hospital to treat rabies.  You can only imagine what I'm preparing myself for?

Another 20 minutes and a Nurse is instructed to assign me to a bed.  At that point they assess my wounds, and determine stitches are not needed.  The Nurse poors plenty of what I assume is alcohol on my leg, and tells me it helps for the wounds to air a minute before placing more gauze on my lower leg.  I have been graced with still little pain. 

When I was a teenager I was bit by a extend family member's female german Sheppard dog on my upper right leg.  It was very painful, and I still have the scars from that attack.  I also froze in that attack.

As this gauze begins to absorb the bleeding, I am instructed to go and sit in the emergency waiting room while they ready the additional medical aid.  At least another 20 minutes and the Nurse calls me into another office to give me a shot and an antibiotic pill.  Shortly, the Physician's Assistant really begins to work on my wounds and wraps my leg good.  She tells me dog bites heal better when they are allowed to heal from the inside out.

She gives me a prescription for more antibiotics, and recommends I follow-up with my Doctor in a couple of days. 

Overall I must say I was given thoughtful care by a well trained medical staff.  I believe when they recognized I respected, and appreciated their efforts, it was refreshing for them to serve me.  I really believe they appreciated the moment to extend genuine courtesy to me.  Could tell by all the interactions between the other Patients and Medical Staff, I really made them feel valued, something they may find rare in their work in that community.

My devoted Spouse was right there by my side, and drove me back to my car.  When we get back to that block, we discover children playing in the street.  We both agreed I really needed do something about this dog.  My Spouse keeps reminding me it could have been much worse as I still tell her how angry I am at how I handled myself in this attack.

I thought about how just about 10 minutes prior to the attack I walked along side that fence to take a rear photo of the home, and a photo of the rear yard.  I would have been in that back yard all by myself without any one to rescue me from that dog had she crawled under that fence to attack me then.

While I was waiting in the emergency room I called the Chicago Police non-emergency 311 number.  I was allowed to leave a message for a return call today.  This morning I did get a return call.  It took a couple of minutes for the gentleman to find the 911 report on me.  He acknowledged it, and told me I would have to go to the 3rd Precinct in person, and make sure they do their job.  In fact, the gentleman speaking with me on the telephone told me to walk in there and tell them to do their job.

I walked into the 3rd Precinct this afternoon at around 3 p.m., and approached a female Police personnel.  I told her I was the victim of a dog bite yesterday, had called 911, and the Paramedics took me to Jackson Park hospital.

She asked what is the dog's license number.  I told her that is why I am here.  The dog had no collar, and the dog's Owner had no clue to when or if the dog had any shots.  She asked if I explained this to the Police when they visited me at the hospital.  Upon the question expression on my face, she said you mean to tell me you had this happen to you, and no one from our precinct inquired about you?

She told me to give her a minute.  She walked to what I thought might have been her Superior's office, spoke with someone I could not see, then returned to tell me please have a seat, and I will work on a report for you.

There were four other people waiting to be served.  I could tell they had been sitting there a while, so I prepared myself for a long wait.  Observing a shift change, it became very obvious the previous shift personnel did not want to take on any new customer service issues out of fear they'd end up working over-time. 

I noticed the frustration of the other people waiting as they watched dozens of officers hanging around the front desk, and all acting like we were not there.  I heard a lady who had been waiting when I got there, say see even the Police don't care about you here in the Ghetto.  Fortunately, the Officer helping me was not a part of the shift change.

At around 4:30 p.m. She called me back to the front desk, and prepared a dog bite report with me.  She even called in the report to the right City of Chicago department in my presence.  She gave me the assignment numbers for the report, and told me I could expect this City department to follow-up with me.

My greatest concern besides my own health and the children playing on the block, is the fact this foreclosed property is now on the market with other Realtors and their valued Buyers touring this home.  Intervention is needed to insure this dog does not attack anyone else.

May I add, when I called my Doctor's office I explained I had been bitten by a dog who may not have any up to date shots.  I mentioned I had been hospitalized, and was given the recommendation to follow-up with my Physician in a couple of days.  The Receptionist told me the earliest date they could accommodate me is next Friday.  After all I've been through I had no more fight in me.

Immediately, I text my Spouse.  She called and asked to speak to my Doctor's Nurse.  She explained my situation.  I now have an appointment tomorrow at noon.  Nothing like having a Good Woman who has my back!  It is like Heaven here on Earth!

Here is where I need your help.  I realize my health insurance carrier will probably go after the dog's Owner for my medical expenses.  The City of Chicago is probably going to give him a big fine, a ticket, a court date, and may take the dog from him for a period of time.  I kind of feel sorry for the financial burden he is about to endure.  A couple of family members have already given me their opinion.  They say I should sue the dog's Owner as well.

The most any home on this block might be worth in today's market is maybe $39k.  I know this Man is living in some level of poverty.  If you were in my position, would you consider suing him?




Comments (2)

Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Yes, I would.  I love dogs, but he knows he has a dog problem, and he should keep the dog on a tether.

Aug 29, 2013 06:10 PM
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Thanks - I had a follow-up with my Doctor today.  He told me I was very lucky the bite did not reach my ligament.

Aug 30, 2013 11:21 AM

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