Florida foreclosures have been the topic of conversation for a while now. This is not only because of the many Florida homeowners who have been hit by the downturn in the economy, but also because of the many mistakes and fraud that the banks have made against Florida homeowners. These foreclosure mistakes run the gamut from small insignificant mistakes to life changing errors that affect real people who have lost their homes and possessions.
Another brazen foreclosure mistake has affected a Florida retiree. An 82-year-old Florida man has been fighting a mistaken foreclosure on his retirement home for the past two years. His Tampa home was never actually in foreclosure according to public records. However, in 2009, a company that works for a bank that is now owned by the Bank of America seized his property, changed the locks to his home, placed a padlock on his front door and sold his assets, all while he was on vacation. Although the foreclosure cleaning company originally admitted that they took possession of the home by accident, they are now denying that they ever set foot on his property.
The sheriff’s office estimated that the value of his possessions was $29,100. However, the retired antique dealer estimates that the total value of his belongings that were wrongfully confiscated, and have yet to be returned to him, are valued at more than $100,000. He also says that this amount does not take into account his priceless possessions now lost forever, such as pictures of his deceased wife.
The Florida retiree has recently filed a lawsuit against the clearing company and the bank in the hopes of receiving compensation for his damages. Unfortunately, hundreds of others have faced similar mistakes. Sometimes mistakes have occurred to people who have recently purchased a foreclosed home, and the bank’s records have not been updated. Other times, banks employees make a mistake on the address, as in this case. Sometimes, a lock-out is premature and the home has not yet been legally foreclosed upon. Florida banks must address these types of serious problems by adopting policies to double check that they are foreclosing upon the correct property and not on innocent victims.
Source: tampabay.com, “Tampa retiree says he lost belongings in foreclosure blunder,” Eric P. Newcomer, 25 June 2011