The Obligatory “Homeowner Forecloses on Bank” Story

posted at 4:30 pm on June 5, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

While it probably doesn’t mean a great deal in the larger scope of things, this is one of those weekend stories which will doubtless be passed around for a while. A Florida couple was served with papers by Bank of America for defaulting on their mortgage, informing them that they were facing foreclosure. Nothing unusual so far, right?

One problem: the couple paid cash for their house and had never had a mortgage. They had all the documents to prove it, too. This didn’t seem to deter the bank, so they wound up in court, running up substantial legal bills to straighten out the obvious paperwork error. The judge in the case ordered the bank to reimburse them for their costs, but five months went by without Bank of America making good on the debt. So the couple’s attorney did what anyone would do in such a case. He informed the bank that they were facing foreclosure and showed up with the sheriff’s department to lock the doors, seize their property and take the cash out of the tellers’ drawers.

“They’ve ignored our calls, ignored our letters, legally this is the next step to get my clients compensated, ” attorney Todd Allen told CBS.

Sheriff’s deputies, movers, and the Nyergers’ attorney went to the bank and foreclosed on it. The attorney gave instructions to to remove desks, computers, copiers, filing cabinets and any cash in the teller’s drawers.

After about an hour of being locked out of the bank, the bank manager handed the attorney a check for the legal fees.

“As a foreclosure defense attorney this is sweet justice” says Allen.

Video report follows. I don’t know if there is any sort of lesson to be learned from this story, but I’ll confess I liked it.

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Dang, the last nine seconds of audio is missing.

Cindy Munford on June 5, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Poetic justice.

Yakko77 on June 5, 2011 at 4:38 PM

I admit it, that brought a smile to my face.

Idiot bank executive. You want things like that to go away fast. Now its a disaster, and will probably cost him his job.

sharrukin on June 5, 2011 at 4:41 PM

This attorney had some cojones taking on a BoA branch…Good for him and the couple tho. Seems a lot of these “wrong” foreclosures pop up from time to time, I wonder about how many we don’t hear about.

JetBoy on June 5, 2011 at 4:41 PM

That attorney definitely earned his fee. Ballsy guy, good read.

karenhasfreedom on June 5, 2011 at 4:44 PM

AP simply has to work this into an anaolgy of the day.

TexasDan on June 5, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Cue Meg Ryan in Katz’s restaurant.

princetrumpet on June 5, 2011 at 4:45 PM

One problem: the couple paid cash for their house and had never had a mortgage. They had all the documents to prove it, too. This didn’t seem to deter the bank,

This is the really scary part. The big banks are used to stand above the law.

the_nile on June 5, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Sometimes they just have to understand you mean it.

There’s a whole left party out there that refuses to acknowledge the shellacking they got last November.

Time to take it to heart libs, America doesn’t want you anymore.

Speakup on June 5, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Awesomely awesome.

vcferlita on June 5, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Isn’t there usually a third party collection agency that does the dirty work of harrassing phone calls, intimidating threats and humiliating letters before the foreclosure process? If so I hope the third party, if there is one also faces a law suit. It is good to see some one take it to the bank for once.

fourdeucer on June 5, 2011 at 4:53 PM

I suspect that attorney will have himself a whole lot of new clients come Monday morning.

flipflop on June 5, 2011 at 4:54 PM

That’s a really big bank (picture).
Jazz, you might want to tidy up that front page image.

Count to 10 on June 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM

BoA is one of the most incompetent banks in the country. They routinely reject short sales and then take a beating when the house is foreclosed and up a bank sale or auction, getting only a fraction of it’s worth and substantially less than what the short sale price would have been. That’s what should be investigated by the shareholders and the feds!

flytier on June 5, 2011 at 4:57 PM

I would have taken all the flat screen monitors in the bank anyway.

portlandon on June 5, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Seems a lot of these “wrong” foreclosures pop up from time to time, I wonder about how many we don’t hear about.

JetBoy on June 5, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Yep. Since a lot of these mortgages are packaged up and sold as MBS’ on the secondary mortgage market, it’s often difficult to tell who the actual owner of the mortgage is. I’d imagine that many homeowners could win these types of cases simply by challenging the foreclosure in court and forcing the bank to prove they actually own the note and mortgage.

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Yep. Since a lot of these mortgages are packaged up and sold as MBS’ on the secondary mortgage market, it’s often difficult to tell who the actual owner of the mortgage is. I’d imagine that many homeowners could win these types of cases simply by challenging the foreclosure in court and forcing the bank to prove they actually own the note and mortgage.

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Isn’t this MERS stuff pure fraud?

the_nile on June 5, 2011 at 5:07 PM

I had a LoC issue with BofA and after being unable to get them to straighten out their insanity, I finally pulled the account after 25 years. F’em. They are so screwed up and completely uninterested in fixing their problems.I’m glad to see somebody take it to the next level and generate some visibility to their complete corporate dysfunction.

TheBigOldDog on June 5, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Much better.

Count to 10 on June 5, 2011 at 5:07 PM

And there was much rejoicing.

logis on June 5, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I had a LoC issue with BofA and after being unable to get them to straighten out their insanity, I finally pulled the account after 25 years. F’em. They are so screwed up and completely uninterested in fixing their problems.I’m glad to see somebody take it to the next level and generate some visibility to their complete corporate dysfunction.

TheBigOldDog on June 5, 2011 at 5:07 PM

The only problem I’ve had with them is that a couple of states haven’t linked in to the national system, so that I actually had to go into a bank branch and have someone there call my old California branch to close out my California specific accounts in favor of national ones.

Count to 10 on June 5, 2011 at 5:11 PM

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 5:02 PM

And not for nuthin’, but didn’t some of the big banks…BofA included, put a temporary halt on foreclosures a while back, because of so many of these wrongful ones?

JetBoy on June 5, 2011 at 5:15 PM

And not for nuthin’, but didn’t some of the big banks…BofA included, put a temporary halt on foreclosures a while back, because of so many of these wrongful ones?

JetBoy on June 5, 2011 at 5:15 PM

It doesn’t surprise me one bit BofA has no idea what it owns and what it does not. They are completely out to lunch. I no longer trust them with anything even slightly complex. To many mergers with too much bad integration has left them totally screwed up.

TheBigOldDog on June 5, 2011 at 5:24 PM

I had sent a link out to this story earlier today to a bunch of my buddies. Just got a reply from one down in Florida. The house in question is close to him. He said that it’s been on all the local news outlets.

Oldnuke on June 5, 2011 at 5:25 PM

from the earlier thread ..

KARMA .. a dish best served up cold. Like Revenge.

/.

CaveatEmpty on June 5, 2011 at 5:32 PM

And all your Sacajawea dollars too!

profitsbeard on June 5, 2011 at 5:36 PM

After about an hour of being locked out of the bank, the bank manager handed the attorney a check for the legal fees.

Would the bank have taken a check from you if you had just been foreclosed on? Should have demanded cash only from the bank manager since the bank had a record of not honoring its fiscal obligations.

canditaylor68 on June 5, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Denninger has been all over foreclosuregate, but haven’t heard much about it here. All we get at HA is Weiner’s weiner.

DFCtomm on June 5, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I do not understand how they could possible try to foreclose on a home they never held a mortgage on. How is that possible? BofA owed these people less than $3000 (saw them interviewed on TV). They deserve a heck of a lot more for having to deal with this insanity.

bopbottle on June 5, 2011 at 5:49 PM

One problem: the couple paid cash for their house and had never had a mortgage. They had all the documents to prove it, too. This didn’t seem to deter the bank,

This is incredible. You’d think this bank would have had decent records indicating this house was paid for in full on purchase.

Good for the attorney and the homeowners.

englishqueen01 on June 5, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Isn’t there some way we can blame this on George Bush?

Log on June 5, 2011 at 6:15 PM

They should not have settled for legal costs incurred. This is one of those situations where punative damages are needed as a deterant to such sloppy paperwork. Sue their pants off.

I would.

iurockhead on June 5, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Very odd.

JellyToast on June 5, 2011 at 6:40 PM

This is a symptom of a larger problem

Wish they wouldn’t have cut him off, because I’m really curious as to what this “larger problem” is that he speaks of.

If he was willing to go the route of explaining how the government has intruded into the market place and pressured banks and mortgage companies into risky behaviors, I’d agree.

However if he’s one of those liberals who believes people who don’t pay their mortgages should be able to continue living there until… well, until forever I guess… then I would strongly disagree with that take.

ButterflyDragon on June 5, 2011 at 6:41 PM

If he was willing to go the route of explaining how the government has intruded into the market place and pressured banks and mortgage companies into risky behaviors, I’d agree.

ButterflyDragon on June 5, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Jesus Christ, STFU.

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Jazz, come on. How about some quality control. Your opening before the quote and vid was pretty lame, dude. You basically told the story over again and didn’t even try to not follow the wording of the story you linked to that I read this morning. If you don’t really have anything original to add, have the smarts to leave it in Headlines.

Vatican Watcher on June 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Jesus Christ, STFU.

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Dont be tepid , tell us your view of what the government lets big banks get away with regarding MERS.

the_nile on June 5, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Time for the ban-hammer.

slickwillie2001 on June 5, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Jesus Christ, STFU.

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Watch yer language.

If yer gonna swear, swear by that other Messiah–Barack O’Bama.

rwenger43 on June 5, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Justice is fun. I worked a career in bank lending and mortgage lending, but a bank that sues someone falsely and then refuses to honor a court judgement deserves whatever ass-kicking the court can serve up.

Jaibones on June 5, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Jesus Christ, STFU.

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Good – you recognize there is a higher power than you. That is the 1st of 12 steps.

MidWestFarmer on June 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

Isn’t this MERS stuff pure fraud?

As far as it being designed to avoid local title transfer fees, absolutely.

shuzilla on June 5, 2011 at 8:32 PM

You’d think this bank would have had decent records indicating this house was paid for in full on purchase.

They’re so used to creating electronic files, then burning the originals with the actual signatures, that some problems are bound to come up… like half of us homeowners never being able to get a clear title once the mortgage is paid off because the chain of ownership, when MERS is involved, is invariably broken.

shuzilla on June 5, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Hooray for him! I love it when average Americans make it clear to the goons in suits that they don’t run everything. The ownership files in general and MERS in particular is a mess almost on par with the U.S. tax code…one tangled mess that invites fraud.

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 5, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Jesus Christ, STFU.

crr6 on June 5, 2011 at 7:04 PM

?????????

katy the mean old lady on June 5, 2011 at 9:08 PM

I do not understand how they could possible try to foreclose on a home they never held a mortgage on. How is that possible? BofA owed these people less than $3000 (saw them interviewed on TV). They deserve a heck of a lot more for having to deal with this insanity.

bopbottle on June 5, 2011 at 5:49 PM

I can’t say that this is what happened or not, but it’s entirely possible that the bank did at one time hold a mortgage signed for by a previous owner, and when the present owner bought the property, the note (that was supposed to be paid off) was not paid off, or the note on another property was paid off in error. I’ve seen this happen before, and it’s always a clusterfark when it happens.

john1schn on June 5, 2011 at 10:41 PM

flytier on June 5, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Bears repeating over and over and over. BofA is the worst of the worst and if you’re banking with them, do not say you have not been warned.
They feel that they have complete and total control over whatever/whoever they need to make a buck.

ORconservative on June 5, 2011 at 11:35 PM

I own a company that has been around a long time. (70′s) I rented office space using a commercial realtor from BAC. They were fair as a landlord but never paid the realtor commission. When they sold the large office building and became a tennant themselves, they stiffed the new owners contracted expense monies.

seven on June 6, 2011 at 9:57 AM

These people are not home owners. A home owner is someone who owns a home. If you have a mortgage you don’t own anything….aside from a lot of debt.

angryed on June 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM

angryed on June 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM

??

The people in this story paid cash for the house!

Eren on June 6, 2011 at 11:12 AM

I do not understand how they could possible try to foreclose on a home they never held a mortgage on. How is that possible? BofA owed these people less than $3000 (saw them interviewed on TV). They deserve a heck of a lot more for having to deal with this insanity.

bopbottle on June 5, 2011 at 5:49 PM

BAC has been known* to just make things up. They have taken other people’s debt, and “corrected” debtor names and identifying information in order to hang their problem on someone else.

* I can cite a case from personal experience. They had a debt in someone else’s name, “corrected” it to make it look like my name, and then proceeded to try to obtain my SSN via trickery. In my case they also picked the wrong person to try to victimize.

landlines on June 6, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Yahtzee!!

Well played, homeowner!!

Khun Joe on June 6, 2011 at 2:34 PM