Foreclosures from the Crypt
A widow has sued Bank of America for throwing out the ashes of her late husband along with her other belongings when it cleaned out her California mountain chalet in what she says was a wrongful foreclosure.
Mimi Ash says she was behind on her loan but the bank had assured her it wouldn’t foreclose while she sought a loan modification, the New York Times reports. The loan was held by Countrywide Financial, which was later sold to Bank of America.
The ashes of Robert Ash, who was killed in a road rage incident, were kept in a box with the inscription “Together Forever,” the story says. Mimi Ash says she lost the remains along with family photos, her son’s ski medals, Persian rugs, china and furniture.
Most mortgages allow banks to enter and secure a home if it has been abandoned and the mortgage is 45 to 60 days in default, the Times says. But inexperienced contractors are often left to decide whether a property has been abandoned, and they don’t always make the right decision, the Massachusetts lawyer who represents Ash, Carlin Phillips, told the newspaper.
The Times says Ash is not alone in her complaint of an improper foreclosure. “In an era when millions of homes have received foreclosure notices nationwide, lawsuits detailing bank break-ins like the one at Ms. Ash’s house keep surfacing,” the story says.
Bank of America told the Times it has enhanced controls in the last year to prevent mistakes in property foreclosures.
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