The Tale of a Lost Mortgage

The Tale of a Lost Mortgage
Anthony Suau / for TIME

Trevor Douglas, right, has been unable to pay the mortgage on his three-bedroom Orlando home for two years, but he continues to live in the house, in part because the bank holding his mortgage has not produced the promissory note — the original document that is legal proof that the loan holder is entitled to either be repaid or take back the house. To help him navigate the mess, he has retained a lawyer, W.C. "Colonel" Airth, in whose office he sits in the above photo.

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