Go ahead, buy that foreclosed home, I dare ya…

Exclusive: Cape Coral family pays Wells Fargo for home bank didn’t own

Brian and Holly Barnhart thought they were home free when they bought their Cape Coral dream house from Wells Fargo Bank – but the bank didn’t even own the house.

Now the Barnharts, who emptied their life savings to buy the house for $153,000 cash and renovate it for another $80,000, are stuck in limbo along with their two small children and a baby due in July.

If they needed to sell the house, they couldn’t because they never actually owned it, said their Fort Myers-based lawyer, Jack Pankow.

“It’s nerve-wracking to say the least,” said Brian Barnhart, a real estate agent with Gulf Gateway Realty. “And it’s killing us.”

So far, nobody’s stepping up to make things right.

At the heart of the problem is a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit filed by Wells Fargo in 2007 against Richard Riccobono for a mortgage he had on the house. The bank won the suit and then took back possession of the house, but moved July 30, 2009, to set aside its ownership.

That caused ownership of the house to revert to Riccobono.

But on Nov. 3, 2010, Wells Fargo sold the house to the Barnharts – who discovered two months later they didn’t really own it when they applied for a mortgage.

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