A couple has filed suit against the people and companies who they believe sold them a house, but instead evicted them from the property after telling the couple they were only renting it.

Bobby and Monica Owens claim they signed closing documents in October 2003 to buy a house at 7444 Timberwolf Drive in Fairview Heights.

At the time of the closing, the Owens paid $33,000 as a down payment, which they believed was to be placed in a trust with the defendant, Christopher Foster, according to the complaint filed Sept. 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

On Sept. 30, 2004, the Owens executed a residency agreement with Christopher Foster, in which they agreed to pay $3,500 per month to live at the home, the suit states.

"That certain actions occurred whereby the Plaintiffs believe their payments were not forwarded to the bank by the defendant as and for payment on the mortgage on the home and defendants began eviction proceedings to remove the Plaintiffs from the residence," the complaint says. "It was Plaintiffs' belief that they had purchased the home located at 7444 Timberwolf Drive and that their names had been placed on the trust, however defendants treated same as a landlord-tenant relationship and it is Plaintiffs' belief that their names were never placed on said trust."

Defendants Christopher Foster, Sonia Foster, Essex Management and Guarantee Approval Program did not provide the Owens reimbursement for their down payment, the couple claims.

As a result, they lost their entire down payment when they were evicted from the home, according to the complaint.

In the two-count suit, the Owens are asking the court to find that the defendants violated the unfair and deceptive act in Illinois, to declare that all contracts the Owens entered into with the defendants were unlawful and for full restitution to be made and to assess a judgment for more than $100,000, plus costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Jennifer M. Behme of Blake and Allen in Belleville will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-486.

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