Many Florida residents and others across the country experienced financial difficulty in the recent mortgage crisis. In efforts to avoid foreclosure, some homeowners started the loan modification process. Working with financial institutions to lower monthly mortgage payments enabled some to stay in their homes. Despite following instructions from their bank, one couple's efforts to get their loan modified resulted in unexpected foreclosure proceedings.
A couple in another state had closed their construction business and taken out a mortgage for a cheaper home in 2008. Reportedly, the mortgage servicing was taken over by Bank of America. The original lender had agreed to modify the loan for the couple. However, the new lender repeatedly denied the request since all the loan payments were current.
At the request of the bank, the couple stopped making payments on the loan as a precondition for loan modification. The bank started foreclosure proceedings and did not stop even though the couple had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy relief. Bank of America continued eviction proceedings, which a judge's ruling on the case found to be illegal. A $45 million fine was levied against the bank for its improper actions.
Staying in one's home in the midst of financial struggles is the goal of most Florida residents. Even with once impeccable credit, situations can change and leave families in extreme predicaments. In these situations, it would be beneficial to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney for assistance in loan modification or other options. A knowledgeable lawyer can help determine the best strategy to allow clients to stay in their homes and get on a path to regain control of their finances. A strong legal team will also protect the rights of homeowners in the event of unfair actions by a financial institution.
Source: bankrate.com, "Judge slaps $45M fine on Bank of America over improper foreclosure", Robin Saks Frankel, March 31, 2017