In studying this little story, I cannot decide whether the greater fault lies with Bank of America or the Hernando County Sheriff. Do law enforcement officers have NO responsibility at all to verify the claims underlying any proposed seizure of property? If they do not, then once again, is it really good and constitutional policy that we allow liars to be (even partially, temporarily) insulated by law merely by reporting to the police? Official immunity is absurd! The police have at least as many resources to verify claims as the Banks—and the use of the police should be conditioned on the police (Sheriff’s office/Constables/Marshal’s office, whatever!) commitment to double and tripled check all elements of a claim before acting using the state’s asserted monopoly on legitimate violence.
Filed in Politics on Feb.14, 2010
A real estate agent employed by Bank of America told the bank that it had the wrong house. The Cardosos lost the tenant and the personal possessions they had stored at the house. I certainly hope that the Cardosos get a HUGE settlement from Bank of America. There is NO excuse for this type of carelessness and incompetence.
As the recession continues, more and more corporations are taking advantage of Americans, from foreclosures to companies reducing pay, laying off workers and requiring employees to do the job of 5 people, to misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid paying minimum wage. Where does it stop?
SPRING HILL — Charlie and Maria Cardoso are among the millions of Americans who have experienced the misery and embarrassment that come with home foreclosure.
Just one problem: The Massachusetts couple paid for their future retirement home in Spring Hill with cash in 2005, five years before agents for Bank of America seized the house, removed belongings and changed the locks on the doors, according to a lawsuit the couple have filed in federal court.
Early last month, Charlie Cardoso had to drive to Florida to get his home back, the complaint filed in Massachusetts on Jan. 20 states.
The bank had an incorrect address on foreclosure documents — the house it meant to seize is across the street and about 10 doors down — but the Cardosos and a Realtor employed by Bank of America were unable to convince the company that it had the wrong house, the suit states.
“Their own real estate agent told them, and nevertheless Bank of America steamrolled right ahead,” said Joseph deMello, an attorney in Taunton, Mass., who is representing the couple. “This is a nightmare for anyone, and it affected my hard-working clients a lot.”
The Cardosos are seeking unspecified damages from Bank of America. The company showed negligence, trespassed and caused the couple emotional distress and financial hardship, especially because a tenant renting the home at the time got worried and left, according to the complaint. It’s still unclear if the couple’s credit rating has been affected, deMello said.
County Record (click to enlarge) – The Hernando County Property Appraiser records show the house was indeed purchased for $139,000. I redacted exact addresses to protect the privacy of the Cordosos.