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Florida Couple Who Were Nearly Wrongly Foreclosed Turns Tables on Bank of America

June 10, 2011

Our Moreno Valley foreclosure defense attorneys were amused to see an item about a rare instance of a bank's mistakes coming back to haunt it (rather than its borrowers). According to the June 3 Naples News, a couple from Florida nearly ended up repossessing furniture from their local branch of Bank of America after the bank refused for months to pay its debt. A court ordered the bank to pay Warren and Maureen Nyerges $2,500 in attorney fees because it tried to foreclose on their home incorrectly. The bank did not own the home, but it took weeks and hiring an attorney for the Nyergeses to prove this to Bank of America's satisfaction. The bank was similarly unhelpful when they tried to collect, leading them to lead a foreclosure effort of their own.

The Nyergeses bought their house outright for cash in 2009, which means they had no mortgage to default on. So they were extremely surprised to receive a foreclosure notice in early 2010. It took Warren Nyerges two months to convince the bank it had made a mistake, working with a branch manager, over the phone and in court. Last December, judge ordered Bank of America to pay the couple's attorney fees. However, five months of calling the bank and its local counsel got no results -- again. Part of the problem, the article noted, was that the local counsel was the David Stern law firm, which has folded and is in legal trouble for shoddy and illegal foreclosure practices. However, Warren Nyerges noted that he called Bank of America employees and even sent a certified letter to the president.

After their efforts got no response, the couple hired a foreclosure defense attorney to help them collect the debt. After further warnings went unanswered, the attorney got a court's permission to seize assets and got the Sheriff's Office to help with the repossession of furniture at a Bank of America branch. The maneuver got the bank's attention, and after a call to new local counsel, it cut a check for the judgment, sheriff's fees and about $2,500 more, whose purpose wasn't clear. Their foreclosure defense lawyer said he would still seek his own attorney fees from Bank of America.

This story is getting a lot of attention because it turns the notion of foreclosure upside down. But as Gardena foreclosure defense lawyers, we're sorry to say that this behavior from a major lender is not unusual -- the only unusual thing is that this couple could hold the bank financially responsible. Since the very beginning of the housing crisis, borrowers have come to us, the media and regulators with complaints about lenders not responding to phone calls or letters, giving contradictory instructions and foreclosing while considering them for loan workouts. And while attempting to foreclose on a loan the bank doesn't own is unusual, it's also not the first case we've seen. Fortunately, in the wake of the robo-signing scandal, judges have gotten more aware of problems with banks -- so homeowners have a stronger chance of fighting back.

Howard Law PC helps clients fight back against avoidable, unfair or wrongful foreclosures. Many of our clients come to us after months of fighting to get their loan servicers' attention or clear answers. As the Nyergeses' experience suggests, we believe loan servicers aren't really interested in helping solve problems -- they want to process foreclosures as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for borrowers, that means that legitimate problems can go unaddressed -- and the foreclosure machine can put their homes up for sale before they can even get clear answers. When this happens to our clients, our Huntington Beach foreclosure defense attorneys helps them sue the lender to stop any foreclosure sale and hold them to the legal standards they should have been following all along.

If you've tried every way you know how to stop a foreclosure and your lender has been nothing but unhelpful, you can call Howard Law to discuss your legal options. For a free, confidential case evaluation, send us an email or call 1-800-872-5925.