Family finds itself in foreclosure nightmare

July 12, 2012 2:41:57 PM PDT
In 2009, Christopher Flood and his wife Tammy bought their dream home.

"First time home buyer, first time tax credit, we were on fire," Flood recalled.

They bought the custom-built home through a short sale.

"We did everything legally with agents, documents, lawyers," said Flood.

At closing, they paid $269,900 for the home and spent the next year and a half loving it - that is until one fateful day.

"We came home and there was a foreclosure notice on the front door. That's when we realized there was major issue," said Flood.

In a panic, the Floods called their mortgage company.

"They said everything is perfect and my payments are all up to date," said Flood.

So he looked at the foreclosure notice again, and realized it wasn't his mortgage company that was foreclosing. It was Bank of America -who was the previous owners' mortgage company.  Why?  Flood soon found out the money he paid for the home back in 2009 never made it to Bank of America.

How could that happen?  It turns out the Flood's closing attorney, Pete Coleman, still had the money in an escrow account, a year-and-a-half after the Floods closed on their home.

"I would never think that doing it legally, with attorneys and real-estate agents, that some sort of error like this could happen, that a wire would not transfer," said Flood.

As it all was happening last summer, the Floods say Coleman assured them not to worry, and that he would work it all out since he still had the funds in his account.  The title insurance company also assured them it would be resolved.  But the Floods say they were still scared.

"We call everybody from the title insurance, the real estate company, the attorney, back and forth for months and still nothing, and then a year later all of a sudden another foreclosure notice on our front door," said Flood.

This time the foreclosure notice included an auction date of June 29, 2012.

"It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing when our neighbors come to us and say we saw the sheriff putting notices on your door the other day," said Flood.

Fed up, the Floods turned to me.

"I am scared and I fear for my family and we're glad to get help from the Troubleshooter," said Flood.

I started digging right away and was able to get Bank of America to postpone the auction.  But then, it got tricky, because the home is worth more now than the Floods paid in 2009, and there were two-and-a-half-years worth of fees tacked on.

"It's a worry. It's a constant worry, and I just don't want it to go on any more. Someone is responsible for it. Someone slipped up somewhere, and I think they just don't want to own up to it," Flood offered.

But they got some reassuring news, when the title company told me:

Chicago Title Insurance Company  is currently working with the foreclosing lender and the other parties on a resolution of this matter on behalf of our insureds ... Based upon these talks, the lender has continued the foreclosure hearing and (the) property is not currently set for sale.  Chicago Title has accepted coverage of their claim and will fulfill its' obligations under the policy prior to any potential foreclosure sale.

And just days ago, the news came they needed to finally put this behind them.  All parties reached a settlement.  The money the Floods paid in 2009, along with another $92,000 the title insurance company is paying, settles what's owed to Bank of America.  

Bank of America told me the foreclosure process remained active because they were unaware the short sale went to closing.  

Once they were made aware of the issue, Bank of America immediately reached out to the appropriate groups to resolve the issue.

Once Bank of America received the funds from the title company, Bank of America issued the lien release.

The closing attorney, Pete Coleman, who had the Floods money for the sale in his escrow account, hasn't said if he forgot to wire the funds, or what went wrong.  

Through his attorney, he declined to comment.

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