Sacramento homeowner loses house twice to [mistaken] foreclosure

Oh bother, and Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says that no-one has lost their home due to paperwork errors.  WRONG!

SACRAMENTO, CA – Miriam Lord lost her home of 19 years to a bank error, then lost it again while the bank tried to correct its mistake.

“It was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing,” said Lord’s attorney, Paige Hibbert.

Lord fell behind in her payments to Chase Home Finance two years ago following a divorce and personal injury, but was approved to enter into a trial loan modification program in March 2010.

“If you make your new payments timely…we will not conduct a foreclosure sale,” the letter from Chase promised.

Home auctioned during trial period

Lord dutifully made four monthly payments by mail and in person at the Chase branch near her home beginning in April 2010.

When Lord called Chase in July 2010 to ask about progress on a permanent loan modification, a bank representative told her the house had been sold at auction.

Fannie Mae, which owned the loan serviced by Chase, began eviction proceedings a month later.

Homeowner evicted

Lord fought the eviction on the grounds the foreclosure was improper, but a Sacramento judge ordered her out of the house no later than Feb. 1, 2011.

Lord and her teenage son moved into a rental house at the beginning of the year.

Loan payments misapplied; bank realizes mistake

Chase bank statements later revealed the four trial loan modification payments had been applied to the wrong account.

Property records suggest Chase and Fannie Mae recognized the error in early March, when the trustee’s deed upon sale was formally rescinded.

Foreclosure round two

On March 12, Chase sent Lord a letter notifying her that her loan modification had been approved, but the bank sent the letter to the house where she no longer lived.

Lord, of course, made no mortgage payments because she didn’t know the house was hers again.

Warning letters came in the spring, followed by notice of a new foreclosure auction scheduled for Aug. 4.

Vacant house vandalized

Hibbert said the bank’s letters were eventually forwarded to Lord’s new address, but by the time she got them, the house was already a wreck.

Following Lord’s eviction, the house was vandalized, fixtures were stolen and there was evidence squatters had taken up residence.

“In essence what (Chase) said was ‘here, have a piece of garbage back.  Now you’re the owner.  Start making payments again,'” Hibbert said.

Hibbert is suing Chase for $1 million in general damages plus $5 million in punitive damages claiming negligence, unlawful business practices and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Chase spokeswoman Eileen Leveckis said she could not comment on the circumstances surrounding the double foreclosure because of the pending litigation.

Adding insult to injury

Sacramento County code enforcement filed a complaint against Lord in July about the shabby condition of the home because she is still the owner of record.

The Aug. 4 auction was postponed for unknown reasons and according to, no new date has been set.

Lord said she has no interest in returning to the only house she ever owned.

“It used to be a home and it’s no longer a home,” Lord said. “It’s just got a lot of bad memories.”

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