Can you imagine having a bank foreclose on a home that you have paid off? It happened to Maureen Collier and her retired police officer husband Sgt. Warren Nyerges. In February 2009, for some reason the bank and their attorneys became convinced that they should foreclose on the Collier –Nyerges home. It must have been a complete nightmare as Collier –Nyerges, who owned the home outright, had to hire a team of attorneys to defend their property and fight the foreclosure. The bank finally abandoned the action and Collier –Nyerges were awarded legal and court fees. However the battle did not end there. Collier –Nyerges could not get the Bank of America to pay up.
“I talked to branch managers, I called anyone who would listen to me,” Nyerges told the Naples News. “And I wrote a certified letter to the president (of the bank). No response, nothing.”
So on Friday, June 2, the couple’s lawyer, a moving company and two sheriff’s deputies went to the bank demanding that it hand over the cash or an equivalent amount of furniture to be sold at public auction. After an hour of negotiations, the bank chose to cut the couple a check for $5,772.88 to satisfy the original debt plus other fees related to the collection.
This story seems to confirm what we have all suspected for a while that the banks are out of control. The take home message is that the average guy needs to document, document, document. It is not enough to just stuff all your paper work in a drawer, or worse throw it away. There are legal documents and records that you must keep. I know that you feel like this sort of thing will never happen, but it does. Be prepared. Set up a record keeping system. Plan a regular time every week/month to file your important records. Store your records logically – put receipts in date-marked envelopes or folders and file bank statements in order. Keep all your tax records and property records. Make certain your records are kept in a secure fire-proof place where they cannot be accessed and used by identity thieves. It is a good idea to password-protect your computer records, and only divulge the password to a small number of people.
I hope that some out-of-control banker, or IRS agent or attorney never threatens you, but if you’ve kept your documents and are prepared, you will have a fighting chance.
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