The housing collapse and subsequent foreclosure crisis has claimed the homes of millions of Americans. But that tragedy may only be matched by the absurdity of some of its tales.
As of February, lenders had foreclosed on 2.7 million homes out of the 42.2 million mortgages borrowers took out between 2004 and 2008, according to a recent report by the Center for Responsible Lending. Though many of the foreclosures have been routine, the sheer volume has resulted in some glaring errors and bizarre evictions.
One Florida couple was threatened with foreclosure for making a payment too early. In Texas, a man faced foreclosure on a home that was destroyed by Hurricane Ike years ago, while in Massachusetts, Bank of America threatened to seize a home if it didn’t receive an outstanding mortgage payment worth $0.00.
But there is some indication that these ridiculous stories are indicative of a systematic pattern of wrongdoing on the part of the lenders. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a lawsuit, earlier this week, against five of the biggest mortgage lenders, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citbank and Ally Financial Inc., alleging the lenders used fraudulent paper work to foreclose on “hundreds if not thousands” of Massachusetts homes, BusinessWeek reports.