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When banks get too zealous in foreclosures

Charlie and Maria Cardoso are suing Bank of America because it mistakenly foreclosed on their Spring Hill home.

TONY MARRERO | Times

Charlie and Maria Cardoso are suing Bank of America because it mistakenly foreclosed on their Spring Hill home.

While several big banks are freezing and reviewing their foreclosure process, some unsuspecting homeowners wish they had done so earlier.

Consider these folks who had paid in full for their Florida homes but still became the mistaken targets of foreclosure.

In Fort Lauderdale, Jason Grodensky bought his modest home last December. He paid cash. But seven months later, he was shocked when Bank of America foreclosed on the house, even though Grodensky did not have a mortgage.

Grodensky only learned of the foreclosure in July, after his title was transferred to a government-backed lender. Asked Grodensky: "How did some attorney put through a foreclosure illegally?"

Bank of America acknowledged its mistake and promised to correct it at its own expense.

If that sounds familiar, it should. A Massachusetts couple, Charlie and Maria Cardoso, paid for their future retirement home, north of Tampa Bay in Spring Hill, with cash in 2005. Five years later, agents for Bank of America seized the house, removed belongings and changed the locks on the doors. The couple claims in a lawsuit that the bank had an incorrect address on foreclosure documents.

At least the owners were not home when the bank came to change the locks. That's what happened to Orlando area home­owner Nancy Jacobini.

She heard her front door lock rattled and the door opened, so she locked herself in her bathroom and called the police. "I'm locked in my bathroom," she said on a 911 call. "Somebody broke into my house!"

It turns out a contractor for JPMorgan Chase was there to change the front door lock on Jacobini's home. Though she was a few months behind on her mortgage, she was not in foreclosure, says her St. Petersburg attorney, Matt Weidner. Besides, banks are not supposed to change the locks on an occupied home. That incident earned Jacobini's tale attention on TV's Inside Edition and the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Information from the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Sarasota Herald Tribune was used in this report.

When banks get too zealous in foreclosures 10/08/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 8, 2010 11:30pm]
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