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Entries in Hurricane Ike (1)

Tuesday
Nov152011

Facing Foreclosure on Nonexistent Home, Homeowner Sues Bank of America

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(SEABROOK, Texas) -- A Texas man has learned a home does not have to exist to face foreclosure.

Three years after Brad Gana's home in Seabrook, near Galveston, was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008, he still is waiting for a resolution after his bank tried to foreclose on his house.

At the time his house was destroyed, Gana was working in Saudi Arabia, tracking the storm online. Fast forward to today, and Gana has sued Bank of America, which held his mortgage, for allegedly reporting "to the credit reporting agencies that the home has been foreclosed," making it impossible for him to "refinance the property and get out from under the thumb of the churlish acts of BAC."

The suit also alleges that BAC "authorized a third party to clean up the lot where [Gana] had stored within containers his personal effects. This personal property was stolen."

The trouble began in 2009 when Gana declined to renew his homeowner's policy with his insurance agency. He says the insurance company agreed and told him it would not renew the policy. But three months later, Bank of America's loan servicing department applied a forced homeowner's insurance policy.

Bank of America issued a statement apologizing for their “error in adding homeowners insurance to his mortgage payment” and said that they refunded his account for the insurance premiums.

Gana's house had an outstanding mortgage of approximately $170,000 before the storm. Despite being left with just a slab of concrete, Gana says he continued to pay the mortgage, hoping to rebuild at the same address.

But, despite the alleged timely payments, the bank scheduled an auction for November 2010, which Gana says he learned about two days before it was to take place. He says that's when he learned the house was headed for foreclosure.

Gana says he was unaware of the hike in the mortgage because his mailbox also washed away. Despite efforts to change his address, the bank refused to send his mail to his location abroad.

After retaining a lawyer, Gana was able to avoid foreclosure, but the bank still confiscated what remained of his belonging on the property, Gana alleges.

In documents obtained by ABCNews.com, a letter dated on May 20 says an agreement between the two parties would leave Gana with an unpaid balance of $41,792. But a June account statement shared with ABC News by Gana placed the balance at more than $93,000 -- far greater than the what the alleged May agreement stipulated.

In September, Gana received a letter from Fannie Mae, which he supplied to ABC News, stating, "Your mortgage loan that is serviced by Bank of America/Fannie Mae is currently delinquent and you may soon be facing foreclosure."

Now he's back to where he started.

"All of this confusion has occurred because Bank of America put a forced Homeowners Insurance policy on a home that no longer exists," Gana wrote to ABC News.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio