Florida Wrongful Foreclosure Lawsuit Seeks Return of Seized HomesNov 2, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
A Florida class action lawsuit is seeking restitution for homeowners who claim their homes were wrongfully foreclosed. The wrongful foreclosure lawsuit, which was filed in US District Court in Miami, names BAC Home Loans Servicing, a subsidiary of Bank of America; Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, and US Bank National Association as defendants. The plaintiffs in the suit say they want their homes back.
The Florida lawsuit is just one of several wrongful foreclosure lawsuits recently filed across the country. Last month GMAC Mortgage, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and PNC Bank suspended various aspects of the foreclosure process after discovering irregularities in the preparation of court documents. Just last week, Wells Fargo admitted to finding mistakes in thousands of foreclosure documents, but did not move to suspend home seizures.
The banks’ actions came after it was learned that some mortgage servicers employed people who could sign foreclosure affidavits so quickly they popularized a new term for them: “robo-signer.” In many cases, the robo-signers were not reading or verifying documents where they were signed, and in many documents were not properly notarized.
The banks’ disclosures have prompted multiple investigations, including one by attorneys general in all 50 states. Those investigations could uncover criminal misconduct or large-scale errors that force foreclosures to be put on hold for an extended period of time. That will encourage thousands of people whose homes have been seized or are facing foreclosure to mount legal action against the banks.
According to a report in SunSentinal.com, it is not known if plaintiffs in the Florida lawsuit will be able to retake possession of their homes should they convince the court that they were wrongfully foreclosed. Legal experts say it’s highly unlikely the courts would force out new owners of these homes if they had bought them in good faith, as they would have protection under the law. Plaintiffs’ chances might be better if the bank still has possession of the home.
Attorneys representing the foreclosed homeowners disagree, and argue that innocent buyers of an illegally foreclosed upon house would have no more rights than those who unwittingly bought a stolen car.
Similar lawsuits, such as one recently filed in Maine, ask for ongoing foreclosures or evictions to be stopped, or monetary damages if the homeowners already have lost their property, SunSentinal.com said.