Foreclosure Mishap In Massachusetts Sets A Concerned Tone Across The Nation
Could this happen to you?
You bought a home from a bank that went into foreclosure, you have moved in and are settled, raising your family, taking care of the lawn. It is your home, when one day you receive a call informing you that you are not the owner of the home and that the lender has made a grave error — the foreclosed property you bought from the bank was actually foreclosed on in error due to a poor history of ownership and title. You are told you may have to move.
How would you react to this news? In Massachusetts this has happened to not only one family but two. So who is the rightful owner of the home? And why should you be punished and have to leave because of a huge mistake the lender made years ago?
Granted the bank may have made a mistake and, obviously at the time, the original homeowners could not afford the home, and may have been foreclosed on anyway. The Supreme Judicial Court stated a bank cannot foreclose on a property that it does not own. So how do you tell someone who has owned the property, paid taxes, and has lived in the home for over 5 years, that they do not own the home that is, after all, their home?
The latest case Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez could have a major impact on how we bundle mortgages and sell them off to investors. Not knowing who has actual ownership will cause a rippling effect across the whole housing industry and bring into question the real owner of a foreclosed property. Not only will this cause other states to follow suit, but could cause false claims to property that really should have been foreclosed on. Massachusetts foreclosures rose to 32 percent from 9,269 to now over 12,000, according to Boston-based Warren Group, which helps track local real estate in the area.Continued on the next page