Wrongful foreclosure is a civil action that is based on claims of foreclosure fraud. There are different aspects through which fraud may be committed during a foreclosure process and these include: predatory foreclosure mediators, botched documents or unscrupulous lenders. The most common cases of wrongful foreclosure, though, are forged signatures, altered documents and fraudulent eviction of homeowners by lenders, lawyers or consultants.
From 2009 and 2010 alone, 11 top financing institutions foreclosed about 1.2 million properties, causing the same number of homeowners to lose their homes. The move, though, was clearly seen as illegal as many of the homeowners: had just acquired bank approval either for the restructuring of their payment scheme or for a temporary delay in the payment of their mortgage; were not even late in their mortgage payment; or, their property was under the protection of federal laws.
The court proceedings that heard majority of the foreclosures during the housing crisis in the US revealed that these were not even the due to homeowners’ fault, who were thought to be defaulting in their loan payments. Rather, the foreclosures were due either to mistakes committed by banks or to practices (that are now held illegal) that highly and only favored banks and lenders.
While losing one’s home due to legitimate foreclosure can cause a homeowner a lot pain, a wrongful foreclosure, however, which is done through deception, can be subjected to a civil case wherein the affected homeowner may even be allowed to file for civil and punitive damages. Whereas the cause of the foreclosure is default in payment, banks or creditors cannot simply foreclose on it as the law offers property owners various means which will help them retain their property.
On its website, the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., says that homeowners have the right to seek the aid and protection of the law in protecting their properties from the wrongful action of profiteers, erring banks, and other lenders.