A couple who paid cash for their house somehow got foreclosed upon by Bank of America. A court battle ensued, which Bank of America lost. The judge ordered them to pay attorney and court fees to the couple who were victims of their error.
Five months later, the bank still hadn't paid. So the couple did the natural thing--they foreclosed upon the bank
. After an hour of being locked out by bailiffs while their furniture, computers, and any cash in the till was seized, the bank branch manager somehow managed to get them a check.
One hopes that the check included interest, outrageous penalty fees, and of course, the cost of the moving van they used for the "foreclosure". A bank that erroneously forecloses on someone who has never even been a customer should be falling all over themselves to make it right, not dragging their feet on paying the bills they forced homeowners to incur. That they felt free to drag it out shows that they fear neither courts nor bad publicity. Hopefully, this incident will inspire more homeowners--and a little more dedication to compliance on the part of the big banks.
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is a columnist at Bloomberg View
and a former senior editor at The Atlantic.
Her new book is The Up Side of Down