Posted on July 27, 2011 by Neil Garfield
EDITOR’S COMMENT: every once in a while we see a spark of American ingenuity. Sparked by the housing needs of a soaring group of people who are homeless even if they are employed, the end result is a challenge, on more personal terms, as to who actually owns that home.This group sees it as a relatively simple problem to solve. On the one hand you have millions of empty homes that are not being maintained, and on the other hand you have millions of people who can afford to maintain the homes, pay the taxes, and repopulate neighborhoods — and that is exactly what is happening. Some are called squatters while others consider themselves civil rights activists.The cities that collect the taxes, the insurance companies that collect the premiums, and the utilities that collect their monthly charges have every reason to make it easy for people to start their accounts at an address that was vacated long ago by a homeowner who didn’t realize that legally they probably didn’t need to leave.That homeowner is probably legally still the owner and has considerable equity in the property if he/she wants to fight for it.In the meanwhile, moving homeless people out of the elements and into a house removes the threat of violence and unrest for an already troubled society while at the same time providing some dignity to people, many of whom were homeowners before this debacle — and as already stated might still be homeowners and don’t know it.The only reason to prevent them from entering on property that doesn’t belong to them is that they don’t have a lease agreement. The problem for BOA and others is that in order to dispossess these tenants they must file an eviction suit and allege that they are the owner. That is a potential problem if you are not the owner.The management of the huge number of homes that have been the subject of foreclosure proceedings exceeds the ability of the megabanks who claim ownership but can’t prove ownership. The negligence in management and reluctance to pay condo and HOA dues is causing problems for homeowner associations and taxing authorities, as well as zoning and compliance boards in dealing with grass 3 feet high and doors falling off hinges.Maybe somebody should have told BOA that home-ownership is not all is cracked up to be.Then you have cases like this one:
When Virginia Henry bought her boarded-up and abandoned Rochester, N.Y., home in December 2007, she saw potential where others were blind to it. The house, a short sale, became her home to live in and care for, she said. She plopped down her $20,000 and filed her paperwork for a loan program that would pay the balance — $43,000 — to rehabilitate the property.
But what followed was a series of unanswered calls and letters to Bank of America, Henry says, eventually culminating in her arrest Friday for a charge of trespassing on her own front lawn. The arrest, like much of this story, is the source of a dispute. Henry asserts police officers shoved her to the ground during the arrest, police claim she fainted from the intense heat. She has a court date for the trespassing charge July 28.
The facts of the short sale are also at issue. The bank has told Henry that the short sale never closed and that the house at 5 Appleton St. — with all her worldly possessions trapped inside — is no longer hers. A Bank of America spokeswoman, Jumana Bauwens, said she would investigate the claims.
“This is my home,” Henry told AOL Real Estate in a phone interview after the arrest. “How can I be trespassing in my own home?”
Filed under: bubble, CDO, CORRUPTION, currency, Eviction, foreclosure, GTC | Honor, Investor,Mortgage, securities fraud Tagged: | bankruptcy, borrower, countrywide, disclosure,foreclosure, foreclosure defense, foreclosure offense, foreclosures, fraud, LOAN MODIFICATION, modification, quiet title, rescission, RESPA, securitization, TILA audit, trustee
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