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Homeowners foreclose on Bank of America office, trend emerging

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Bank of America illegally forecloses on homeowners

We’ll preface this story by noting that the saddest part of all is that nothing about the video above and what we’ll report below is of any surprise to us and probably no surprise to you. Stories like these are pouring in and consumers are finding ways to get back at the banks that wrongfully foreclose and become unavailable over the phone to these homeowners.

In Naples, a couple paid cash for a home owned by Bank of America who recently began sending foreclosure notices to their home. The homeowners hired a real estate attorney, sued, and the courts agreed that there was never a mortgage to foreclose upon given that they had paid in full. This scenario is even more egregious than the mistakes banks across America are refusing to deal with, citing case overload and typically apologizing after news outlets get involved.

The courts ordered Bank of America to pay the homeowners’ legal fees which were only $2,534, but as they had treated these homeowners prior to the Judge’s order, they became non-responsive and did not pay.

Rather than roll over as so many Americans feel they have to, the couple brought their lawyer, a moving truck, movers and two armed deputies to their local branch that was not responding and the deputy instructed the bank manager turn over all assets in the branch, including furniture, desks, file cabinets, and even the cash in the drawers.

An hour later, Bank of America cut a check, claiming they instructed payment of an attorney that they were not aware had since gone out of business.

Other Bank of America sins

The rise in wrongful foreclosures is unfortunately not a new trend. We’ve been writing for years about these “mistakes” and the bank’s refusal to right these situations. Just last December, we reported on Bank of America foreclosing on the wrong address on Christmas Eve, and Bank of America foreclosing on homes by continuing the foreclosure process even after the home was successfully sold to a new buyer, and Bank of America has even foreclosed on another home they never even had a loan on.

Many banks ended 2010 by freezing foreclosure processes after many states’ attorneys general called for a freeze, and banks including Bank of America have gotten better at processing short sales, but the wrongful foreclosures continue.

The emerging trend

There is a slowly emerging trend of the rare American household that wins the David versus Goliath battle against banks wrongfully foreclosing on them. In February, a homeowner made headlines by foreclosing on a Wells Fargo branch in a similar manner to the couple mentioned above. An Austin homeowner went on a hunger strike when Wells Fargo wouldn’t rightfully modify his loan and most impressively, just this April, military officer won a $21 million lawsuit against his lender for wrongfully foreclosing upon his home.

The frustrating element of all of these wins is that a dirty, lengthy battle was drawn out and even when a homeowner fights a wrongful foreclosure, they don’t always win and in most cases, they never make headlines. The fact that this behavior has continued by the banks after all of the drama in the past years is astonishing and wrong and must stop… it shouldn’t take homeowners like this couple showing up at their branches to demand a measly few dollars because of a stupid paperwork error.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

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79 Comments

79 Comments

  1. Tina Merritt

    June 6, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Just last week, I received an offer on a listing where the buyer was using Bank of America for their mortgage. Why??? Why are consumers still banking with BofA and Wells Fargo when these stories are everywhere??? Secondly, why are agents sending them buyers for mortgages?

  2. This is just the beginning. I foresee years of lawsuits against the lenders for the mishandling of both foreclosures and short sales.

  3. candra

    February 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Bank of America is saying I am behind in my mortgage 2 months but my new mortgage sps has my mortgage now as Dec. 2011… now sps is saying I’m behind also so I faxed the cashed checks that bank of America cashed to the new mortgage co. and they still say I owe for 2 months and I’m in default! their passing the buck no one wants to admit their wrong! if I could aford a lawyer to fight them I would so I’m at their mercy

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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