LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The KCBD Investigates Team has been keeping an eye on rent-to-own landlord Jerry Lopez, who rents two mobile homes on land at 6301 East County Road 6460.
More than a dozen criminal complaints have been filed against Lopez. Many of them by his own tenants.
According to those reports, families with rent-to-own arrangements claim Lopez threatened, harassed, and — in some cases — assaulted them shortly after they moved in.
The KCBD Investigates team followed Savana and Alex Baquera to a dispute hearing where a third party would decide if Lopez should repay the down payment they say was unfairly lost. After the hearing, we were able to get both sides of the story from Lopez and the Baqueras.
“We came to dispute resolutions to see if we could get Jerry to settle without having to go to court and see if he could be civil. The only thing we’re basically asking for was our down payment,” Savana Baquera said.
In the Office of Dispute Resolutions, the Baqueras' goal was to leave there with the $1,500 they gave Lopez when they first moved in.
Both parties were in separate rooms for safety reasons with a representative from the office mediating.
“He doesn’t feel he owes us anything and that we were in the wrong because he feels because I did an interview and exposed him, he now he feels like he’s the victim,” Savana Baquera said.
It was while KCBD was waiting for the meeting to finish, we bumped into Jerry Lopez. We asked lopez directly if he would be willing to tell his side of the story. He didn’t want to do an interview, but did tell us he saw a previous report.
“I’ve gotten calls from friends that say, ‘you can’t let them do this to you’ like do what? Blemish my name?" Lopez said. "They will throw blood and get my shirt dirty, all I have to do is wash it clean. I am who I am. That’s it.”
Lopez also said the response to the story has been hard.
“Reminds me of the murder of Jesus Christ where he had messengers caring messages around telling people how bad he was and why he deserved to die and that’s why they killed him," Lopez said.
Lopez said there’s a lot more to the story that will be revealed in due time. He didn’t go into detail on what that meant.
Savanna and Alex Baquera say they will be taking Lopez to court to get their money back.