Reuters Special Report: The Latest Foreclosure Horror: The Zombie Title

Foreclosure Zombie

Special Report: The latest foreclosure horror: the zombie title

(Reuters) – Joseph Keller doesn’t expect he’ll live to see the end of 2013. He blames the house at 190 Avondale Avenue.

Five years ago, Keller, 10 months behind on his mortgage payments, received notice of a foreclosure judgment from JP Morgan Chase. In a few weeks, the bank said, his three-story house with gray vinyl siding in Columbus, Ohio, would be put up for auction at a sheriff’s sale.

The 58-year-old former social worker and his wife, Jennifer, packed up their home of 13 years and moved in with their daughter. Joseph thought he would never have anything to do with the house again. And for about a year, he didn’t.

Then it started to stalk him.

First, in 2010, the county sued Keller because the house, already picked clean by scavengers, was in a shambles, its hanging gutters and collapsed garage in violation of local housing code. Then the tax collector started sending Keller notices about mounting back taxes, sewer fees and bills for weed and waste removal. And last year, Chase’s debt collector began pressing Keller to pay his mortgage, which had swollen, with penalties and fees, from $62,100.27 to $84,194.69.

The worst news came last January, when the Social Security Administration rejected Keller’s application for disability benefits; the “asset” on Avondale Avenue rendered him ineligible. Keller’s medical problems include advanced liver disease, hepatitis C and inactive tuberculosis. Without disability coverage, he can’t get the liver transplant he needs to stay alive.

“I can’t make it end,” says Keller. “This house, I can’t get out.”

Keller continues to bear responsibility for the house because on December 23, 2008 – about two months after he received Chase’s notice of sale – the bank filed to dismiss the foreclosure judgment and the order of sale. Chase said it sent Keller a copy of its court filing on December 9, 2008. Keller says he never received any notification. Either way, his name remained on the property title.

Be sure to read the rest of the report here…


6 Responses to “Reuters Special Report: The Latest Foreclosure Horror: The Zombie Title”
  1. Sam says:

    THE bottom line that one should take from stories like these is NEVER move out of your property until you are absolutely sure that the foreclosure sale has been finalized. Let the new Owner or bank get a eviction notice before moving out. I have read many stories like these where the property never foreclosed, where the bank for some reason dismiss the Foreclosure action or cancel a Foreclosure Sale at the last minute. Leaving your property allows the Banks to take possession (see appropriate Mortgage Clause) even when the Foreclosure action was terminated.

    It is my understanding that “some” banks are cancelling foreclosure action/sale due to the recently signed settlement between a few name banks and the various States/Federal Government. Apparently, there is “some” hidden clause which prevents such foreclosures, at least for some period of time,

  2. lies is all i tell says:

    How is this any different people then when jesus was alive call the money changers then. NO different at all. we need to stop this fraud.

  3. 1ofthemany says:

    CHA$E $UX NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS INEPT IDIOTS and THE PRESIDENTS ” BEST FRIEND”, biggest depositor into chase account with the money off what is left of the working people an the ones before, 1.4 mil to make the prez’s fam happy and “cozie” and by the way “we have too much stuff” right TT, we have nothing compared to these pirates, they can’t even get their ppwk right so go sue for damages. Maybe this man can recover somehow bless him

  4. Joshua says:

    The particulars of the Bank of Americas ongoing and uninterrupted abuses have been noted but not dully addressed. There has been a class action lawsuit recently settled out of court wherein the hundreds of thousands of former homeowners, foreclosed on by the Bank of America between 2009 and 2010 corruptly, unjustly and inconveniently, have received a small monetary reimbursement in exchange for their lost homes. An 8.5 Billion dollar settlement divided among 3.5 million former homeowners, which gives each person $885.00 per person roughly. THIS IS NOT RIGHT in form or process; the Bank of America foreclosure and subsequent seizure practice is aggressive and unethical in its conception, and the 8.5 billion dollars settlement is mere peanuts in comparison to the amount they have taken from former clients of theirs, whom are now without homes, without a place to call a home for themselves or their families. Bank of America, despite class action lawsuits, continues to abusively employ this practice! Perhaps someone you know has been affected by this terrible development and practice on the behalf of Bank of America. I work locally with RIG Financial Solutions out of Lebanon, PA; many of our clients have their mortgages through Bank of America, and on a DAILY basis we deal with and have to forcefully hedge the predatory and abusive practice employed by the Bank of America as it goes unchecked and MILLIONS more will lose their homes unless something is done!

  5. Cheryl Stepnioski says:

    It Just Gets Worse And Worse.. The Banks Are NEVER held Accountable For Any Thing…

  6. kate says:

    Glad you posted it. If even one person is forewarned and can avoid this hell, it was worth it. Thanks Mike.

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