This past year, it was discovered that many banks had failed to properly document thousands of foreclosures, resulting in wrongful repossessions of homes. Many homeowners in Florida were affected and foreclosure proceedings have since slowed down while banks attempt to fix flawed foreclosure processes.
In addition to failing to properly document foreclosures, many banks have also failed to make sure that procedures are in place to ensure that the correct property is repossessed in some cases. One attorney commented that he has represented homeowners in hundreds of cases in which the homeowners were wrongfully locked out of their homes.
Many of the homes were cleaned out, causing homeowners to lose all of their possessions. But even after it was discovered that the homes should not have been repossessed, the attorney commented that none of his clients have been able to recover their personal belongings.
One Florida homeowner affected by a wrongful repossession has filed a lawsuit this month against Field Asset Services Inc. and Countrywide Home Loans, which is now owned by Bank of America.
According to the lawsuit, the 82-year-old man had returned to his Tampa home in the fall of 2009 after spending some time in New Mexico. However, the retiree discovered that the locks had been changed. A large sign was also posted on the door with the contact information for Field Asset Services, a company that cleans out foreclosure properties for banks.
A deputy investigated the incident and wrote in his report that Field Asset Services may have “mistakenly arrived at the residence in error on 9/17/09 and removed its contents.” Everything in the Tampa man’s home had been taken including pictures of his deceased wife, furniture and valuable antiques. The man estimates that nearly $100,000 worth of personal belongings were wrongfully taken and discarded.
While investigating the wrongful foreclosure further, it was discovered that Field Asset Services had been hired to clean out a condominium at the address of 4255 W. Humphrey St. The man lived in single-family home with the address of 4205 W. Humphrey St.
Others have reported similar incidents. There are hundreds of cases involving delinquent homeowners who have discovered that a bank prematurely cleaned out their house. In other cases, companies hired to clean out the repossessed homes have gone to the wrong property.
The Florida retiree is suing for damages resulting in the wrongful foreclosure. He said that he was so upset from the incident that he has not been able to move back into his home.
St. Petersburg Times: “Tampa retiree says he lost belongings in foreclosure blunder,” Eric P. Newcomer, 25 June 2011