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Reverse Foreclosure: Man Seizes Bank of America’s Assets

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 14 comments.

Imagine this: You, accompanied by the sheriff’s deputies, walk into your local Bank of America branch. You tell the sheriff to remove cash from the tellers’ drawers and seize the branch’s furniture and computers. It’s like a dream come true, especially for someone who has been on the receiving end of a bank’s foreclosure.

Now imagine this: You and your wife pay cash to buy your house, never taking out a mortgage. Bank of America, however, believes you do have a mortgage and that you haven’t made any payments. This is not like the issue where a bank can’t prove it is the true owner of a mortgage due to securitization, a situation where someone with a mortgage might be able to get out of paying an obligation because the mortgage can’t be traced to a real creditor. This is a case where a mortgage never existed, but somehow, Bank of America believed the house was owned by the bank. The bank initiates the foreclosure process, forcing you to hire an attorney despite the bank not having any legal standing. Although the court ordered Bank of America to cover your thousands of dollars in attorney fee expenses, the bank doesn’t pay. For months.

A good course of action is to initiate foreclosing proceedings on the bank, and that’s what a couple in this position did. $2,500 may be enough for a bank to repeatedly ignore, but that amount is worthwhile to a household. The sheriff invasion resulted in a check from the bank within an hour, and the check covered the attorney’s fees plus another $3,000.

It is difficult to stand up to banks, even if you know you’re in the right. Large financial institutions have what seems like endless money to throw at problems they want to go away, and another bottomless trough for money to help them maintain a good reputation in the media. While not all consumers need to battle with the financial industry, some do, and those who do are facing long odds.

TIME Moneyland

Published or updated June 7, 2011.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

That’s crazy. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have paid cash for your house, have someone declare you have a mortgage with them, and then, for what ever reason, be unable to successfully fight the bank on it. What if the couple hadn’t had the money for lawyers? I also feel like since the claim was a baseless error on Bank of America’s part the couple should have been further compensated beyond the reimbursement of legal fees to compensate for their time and headaches and to encourage Bank of America to clean up their record keeping practices. I think we’ve seen systemic problems with banks’ records and they should be penalized accordingly for clogging the legal system. Perhaps a court order to invest in a new system with accountability for accuracy and clean up of the historic mess?

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avatar 2 Anonymous

I love this! KUDOS to this man for having the guts to pull this off! How many times does a big corporation walk all over the little guy? I heard about this on the news, but thanks for the details of the story!

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avatar 3 Anonymous

This is a great example that the law still applies to everyone (with a possible exception to elected officials). If you are persistent you can beat these guys with the law on your side.

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avatar 4 wylerassociate

this is a great story as well.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

I saw this article a few days ago, and it was by far the best three minutes of my week.

Foreclosing on Bank of America (who was 2nd place in the Worst Company in America contest at The Consumerist) is just incredible.

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avatar 6 tigernicole86

I seriously clapped when I read this story. =D

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avatar 7 shellye

This is my favorite news story of the year, thus far. Kudos to this couple – I hope their story inspires others to do the same if the situation arises.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

I really like this article! As one purchasing a condo as a short sale, I have a front row seat to the mortgage mess. It’s nice to see the tables turned.

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avatar 9 qixx

I had not seen this story yet. Good reporting. Way to go to the couple for standing up and more for paying cash for their home.

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avatar 10 Cejay

You go guy. It is fine time that someone stood up to big banks and let them know that they can’t push the little guy around and then just walk off with a WHOOPs!. I even admire the judges and sheriff’s officer that carried out the order.

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avatar 11 lynn

I read an article about this couple. What a hoot! God bless them and a thank you to them for being so dang strong and level headed.

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avatar 12 Anonymous

I wish they had gone a step further and put a lien on the CEO’s personal home.

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avatar 13 lynn

LOL. What a great thought! My vote’s in this corner.

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avatar 14 skylog

haha, this is simply a great story. it is still hard for me to believe that this actually happened.

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