Yet another nightmare story has emmerged involving a mistaken foreclosure. Bank of America reportedly put a Connecticut family's home in foreclosure despite the fact that the couple never missed a payment -- and was actually in the process of refinancing their mortgage with the bank.
According to CTWatchdog.com, Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch wanted to refinance their mortgage with Bank of America, but a bank representative reportedly put the couple into the Home Affordable Modification Program, the Obama administration's much-maligned foreclosure prevention initiative.
The program was created to help struggling borrowers. Unfortunately, the Baitch's weren't struggling.
In an interview with CTWatchdog.com, Baitch was understandably livid:
"Bank of America lied and submitted fraudulent information to the credit bureaus and now I am literally and financially paying for it," Baitch said. "I looked into help with a consumer counseling service, but we can't participate because our income is too low to meet the payment requirement. I looked into bankruptcy, but we have too much equity in the house. I cannot meet the minimum payments now on the credit cards..."
The Baitch's story is one of a growing number of seemingly mistaken foreclosures involving mortgage servicers, many of which have left homeowners to pay for the legal and administrative costs required to rectify their situation.
In October, Bank of America admitted there had been problems with some foreclosures. And while the mortgage servicing industry has repeatedly stated that the problems involve only a handful of homeowners, housing advocates aren't so sure.
In December, the Associated Press took an in-depth look at the subject. In addition to an investigation launched by all 50 states, the AP found homeowner lawsuits in Florida, Nevada, Texas and Pennsylvania, and class action suits in Kentucky and California. Here's more from the AP:
"This is the worst I've ever seen it," says Ira Rheingold, an attorney and executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Diane Thompson, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center, has defended hundreds of foreclosure cases. "In virtually every case, I believe the homeowner was not in default when you looked at the surrounding facts. It is a widespread problem throughout the country."