They owned a Florida home free and clear. Two Bedford, Massachusetts residents bought their second home in Spring Hill, Florida with cash. But now they are bringing a lawsuit against Bank of America accusing the bank of trying to foreclose on their home. The legal claims include trespass, negligence, and interference with contractual relations, defamation and libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, conversion, among others.
False Foreclosure Claim
In July, the residents’ home was visited by representatives from Bank of America. There were there to foreclose on the home. Only a renter was home at the time. When he moved out in December, only to return in January to pick up his things, the renter and the family found that Bank of America workers were putting locks on the doors. The complaint says that the homeowner told Bank of America, BOA, that he owned the home without a mortgage. The homeowner then called the tax assessor who told him that Countrywide Home Loans Inc. had paid the taxes and gave him a number to call. BOA owns Countrywide Home Loans. When he called the number the company admitted it had made a mistake. But when the homeowner and his son drove to Florida, they found BOA had removed the family’s possessions and shut off the electricity which caused the water pipes to burst and damage the home.
This family has now amended their complaint to include everyone who participated in the fraudulent foreclosure, including employees, agents, contractors, or anyone hired by BOA to proceed with the foreclosure and get rid of their possessions. They claim BOA intimidated the renter to leave and then caused emotional distress additionally by harming the couple’s reputation.
Hiring an Attorney
Clearly this is a case where a large corporation made a mistake and could do the right thing. Instead it is researching the matter but admits the wrong home was secured “following a foreclosure on a nearby property.” Additionally, some words were exchanged to the couples friends, family and acquaintances in the neighborhood, leaving the impression they cannot pay their bills. Because the residents are not public figures, they need to prove negligence and their claim of defamation could survive a motion to dismiss. A public figure has a much higher standard to reach – that the person defaming them knew a particular statement was false. An attorney can help you navigate through this nightmare and restore what is rightfully yours, including your reputation.