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Bank of America served a foreclosure notice on a home in Florida - despite its owners never having taken out a mortgage.
Bank of America served a foreclosure notice on a home in Florida - despite its owners never having taken out a mortgage.
Image: Paul Sakuma/AP

Bank is foreclosed from its own premises: homeowners win revenge after mistaken lawsuit

A couple were brought to court for not paying a mortgage they never took out. Their revenge? Foreclose on the bank.
Jun 7th 2011, 9:55 AM 1,021 5

DEFAULTS AND FORECLOSURES are sadly becoming more and more commonplace these days, as homeowners give up the ghost on trying to keep up their mortgage repayments and simply allow their houses to be repossessed.

But a foreclosure of a less common type has been making the news in Florida, where a major bank found itself padlocked out of its own premises after mistakenly bringing a couple to court over a mortgage they had never even taken out.

Ohio natives Warren and Maureen Nyerges moved to Naples, Florida when they bought a house from Bank of America, which itself had seized the house as a result of a previous foreclosure.

Having paid $165,000 in cash for the house, the couple assumed they would have no further dealings with the bank – only to have a lawyer knock on the door and tell them they were being brought to court for failing to pay their mortgage.

Because the couple had no mortgage to pay, they duly went to court – where a judge in Collier County ruled that the bank had wrongfully tried to foreclose on the home, and therefore ordered the bank to pay the Nyerges’ legal fees of $2,534.

The Naples Daily News reports that five months later, the bank still hadn’t stumped up – so the couple hired a lawyer, who duly showed up at the bank with some bailiffs and threatened to seize whatever assets were needed in order to cover the debt.

Unsurprisingly, less than a hour later, the bank manager wrote the couple a cheque.

“Having two sheriff’s deputies sitting across your desk and a lawyer standing up behind them, demanding whatever assets are in the bank, can be intimidating,” the couple’s lawyer Todd Allen told CBS.

“But, so is having your home foreclosed on, when it isn’t right… as a foreclosure defence attorney, this is sweet justice.”

The bank apologised for the delay in reimbursing the couple for their fees, and said the original request for the funds had been sent to a lawyer who was no longer in business.

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Gavan Reilly

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