Even those that continue to make payments on a house that no longer exists aren't immune to foreclosure.
Brad Gana, of Seabrook, Texas is being threatened with foreclosure over a home that hasn't existed since it was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008, local Houston 2 News reports. Furthermore, after the hurricane, which cost the Texas shoreline an estimated $11 billion in damages, reduced the property to an empty slab of concrete, Gana alleges he continued to make payments.
In the meantime, Bank of America, the mortgage lender, took out a forced homeowner's policy on the property and raised monthly payments. Gana, however, says he was never notified of the change since his mailbox was destroyed by what's come to be known as the third-most destructive hurricane ever to hit the United States.
The story is only latest public relations mix-up for the company that recently lost its status as the largest bank in the country. It was reported earlier this month that one family, also living in the Houston area, faces foreclosure due to an untransferred title and in spite of making payments on time.
In another case, Bank of America foreclosed on an elderly couple in Pasco County, Florida, in part because they made a payment too early.
But it's not just foreclosures that has people angry at the bank. BofA made a $6.2 billion profit last quarter, after announcing in September that it would start charging customers a $5 fee to use debit cards next year.
Despite repeated stories of allegedly wrongful foreclosures, it appears not everybody is so sympathetic to the affected homeowners. A New York Times op-ed by Joe Nocera, published last week, detailed an office Halloween party from last year at a "foreclosure mill" firm in which employees mockingly dressed as foreclosure victims. A section of the office also appears decorated as a row of foreclosed homes.
As for Gana, he says he can't understand why a bank would take out a homeowner's policy on a house that's no longer there, then threaten the homeowner with foreclosure."I was shocked when they said they were foreclosing on it," he told Houston 2 News. "Bank of America is ruthless in their incompetency."