Banks Find More Wrongful Foreclosures Among Military Members
New York Times
March 4, 2013
More than 700 members of the U.S. military were wrongfully foreclosed on during the housing crisis in 2009 and 2010, based on new detailed analyses. The numbers -- about 200 apiece at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo and at least 100 at Citigroup -- are much higher than the banks initially admitted. "It's absolutely devastating to be 7,000 miles from your home fighting for this country and get a message that your family is being evicted," remarked retired Col. John S. Odom Jr., who represents enlisted persons in military foreclosure cases. "We have been sounding the alarms that the banks are illegally evicting the very men and women who are out there fighting for this country. This is a devastating confirmation of that." Members of the Armed Forces are protected under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which requires banks to secure court orders before foreclosing on active-duty military personnel. The high number of improper military foreclosures is just one detail emerging from the new bank reviews. The analyses also revealed about 20 borrowers who lost their homes despite never missing a mortgage payment as well as foreclosures tied to botched loan modifications.
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