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Bay State Couple Says Bank Took Possession Of Wrong Home In Florida

BOSTON — A Massachusetts couple says their son’s homecoming from Iraq was spoiled when Bank of America/Countrywide foreclosed on their Florida home, which they owned free and clear, according to a lawsuit.

Homeowner Charlie Cardoso, of New Bedford, was shocked to hear that the bank, with whom he never had a mortgage, foreclosed on his Spring Hill, Fla., home, despite telling the bank it had the wrong house.

The Cardoso’s tenant was forced to leave the Florida home, and the bank seized the home, changed the locks and removed personal property from the house and garage, the family claims.

They said Bank of America’s foreclosure spoiled the couple’s plans to welcome home Cardoso’s wife’s son, who had just completed his third tour of duty in Iraq.

Upon notice of the seizure, Charlie Cardoso drove to Florida to protect his house, missing the homecoming.

The lawsuit to be filed in Federal Court in Boston alleges that Bank of America, which now owns Countrywide, intimidated the Cardoso’s tenant into vacating the property, trespassed and seized the Cardoso’s property and changed the locks to the house.

The complaint also alleges that Bank of America/Countrywide was notified prior to the foreclosure that it was the wrong house by both the Cardosos and the realtor who held the listing for the foreclosure sale, yet Bank of America/ Countrywide still proceeded to foreclose.

When Cardoso arrived in Florida with his deed for the property, the police denied him access to his house. Only after a later meeting at the police station was Cardoso able to convince the police that Bank of America/Countrywide had foreclosed on the wrong home.At that point, he was allowed to break down the door to his house, remove the locks and enter it, only to discover that the electricity had been turned off, that the pipes had frozen due to the unseasonably cold temperature in the Tampa area, and that possessions stored in the house and garage had been removed, attorneys for the family said.

Court records indicate that this is not the first time that Countrywide foreclosed on the wrong home. A 2008 decision by the Nevada Supreme Court upheld a jury verdict on behalf of a Nevada couple when Countrywide foreclosed on the wrong Las Vegas condominium unit in 2003.

The Cardosos are now in the process of having repairs made to their house caused by the seizure.



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