There are mistakes and then there are MISTAKES.
Down in Florida, Miami to be exact, a mix up between Washington Mutual and the Miami-Dade Clerk's Office is definitely the latter.
According to the local NBC affiliate a mistake in processing a foreclosure led to the eviction and subsequent auction of Miami resident Anna Ramirez's house. The eviction, which occurred without any of the normal notices, left Ramirez and her extended family with three hours to gather their belongs and without a roof over their heads.
The ordeal came to a climax after her $260,000 house was sold for $87,000 at a public auction and Miami-Dade police evicted the family from the house. Thankfully with the help of a neighbor Ramirez was able to get the sale overturned and move back in within a few days; battered furniture and all. She is currently looking at legal means of recovering damages to her belongings.
Given the increasing number of foreclosures this type of mistake is frightening on its own but when you look at other examples of wrongful foreclosure in Florida it's enough to give a homeowner goosebumps.
In March 2008 one Florida resident received a call from his neighbor while in London to let him know that an "army" had arrived to change the locks on his Florida home and empty the pool as part of foreclosure proceedings.
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When he questioned the foreclosure he found out that Citi-Residential who initiated the foreclosure didn't even own the mortgage and told WFTV that, "it's dealing with so many foreclosures in Central Florida that it made a mistake."
In April 2009 yet another Florida Home, in Kissimmee again, was wrongfully foreclosed on thanks to a collection of errors in the deeds for a neighborhood that left one man paying for the sins of his neighbor.
Thanks to an obvious mix up in deeds on file with the county the bank foreclosed on the wrong home and required a judge's intervention to stop the proceedings. The county appraiser told the local news station that other homeowners in the area could face the same issue if they don't go back and ensure that their deeds are correct.
With errors like this it's no wonder that some foreclosure proceedings stall as banks struggle to produce paperwork showing that they have a right to the house. These individuals were lucky in that they had the resources and a support system in place to see them through the situation; many other families might not be so fortunate if the bank errs against them.
If you find your home being wrongfully foreclosed on here are some steps to take to get ahead of the problem.
Bank auctions wrong house in Miami; not the first time