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Are your mortgage payments up to date?

June 6, 2011 - Steve Murch
Wow, talk about taking matters into your own hand – an Associated Press story Monday tells of a couple in Florida who decided enough was enough and they were going to get their money. And right now, apparently.

Warren and Maureen Nyerges had paid off the mortgage on their home but that didn't stop Bank of America from foreclosing on their home. The couple was still fighting a court battle to get reimbursed when they went into action.

Luck had to have been on their side, plus it might have helped that Warren is a retired police officer, because they found a judge who gave them permission to seize furniture, if necessary, from a Bank of America branch office. So they got a moving truck and sheriff's deputy and showed up ready for action. The bank wrote them a check for $5,772.88 an hour later.

"The branch manager was visibly shaken," attorney Todd Allen told the AP Monday, recalling the visit to the bank last week. "At that point I was willing to take the desk and the chair he was sitting in."

The kicker in the whole thing is the couple paid cash for the home, which had been foreclosed, in 2009. It only took Bank of America four months to send someone to knock on the Nyerges' door to give them a foreclosure notice.

They spent 18 months trying to get the problem fixed, and finally last September a judge ordered Bank of America to pay their attorney fees. Here they were nine months later and the bank hadn't paid yet.

Bank of America blamed it on its attorney at that. That law firm, and two others, is now being investigated by the state's attorney general “over allegations that they created fraudulent legal documents, gouged homeowners with inflated fees, steered business to companies they owned and filed foreclosures without proving the bank actually had legal interest in the loans,” according to the AP story.

It wasn't the first time Bank of America had done this. It tried to foreclose on a house in Fort Lauderdale under similar conditions, where the man paid cash – again in 2009.

I don't know if there's a lesson there or not, but I definitely wouldn't have wanted to have paid cash for a Bank of America foreclosed home in Florida in 2009. So are banks really too big or valuable to fail?

------ Today's movie recommendation (new aspect): The Way Home. It's based on a true story about a group of men who escape from a Siberian gulag during World War II. They make their way (not all of them survive) to Tibet, where three of them then depart for India and one, the lone American, another way to get back to the States. This isn't for people with a limit attention span or who want action/blood and guts. These people deal with survival, first in the Siberian winter, then later the Mongolian desert. Be warned, it's over 2 hours long -- which seems to be the cutoff point for so many people -- but it's worth it.


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