“The mirage of promised mortgage modification lured the plaintiff debtors into a kafkaesque nightmare of stay-violating foreclosure and unlawful detainer, tardy foreclosure rescission kept secret for months, home looted while the debtors were dispossessed, emotional distress, lost income, apparent heart attack, suicide attempt, and post-traumatic stress disorder, for all of which Bank of America disclaims responsibility.” All too familiar.
How much in punitive damages is enough to punish unlawful conduct and deter its repetition? $45 million was one bankruptcy court’s opinion, in the case of a wrongful home foreclosure and eviction in knowing violation of the automatic stay.
The court described the plaintiff-debtors’ treatment by defendant Bank of America as Kafkaesque, and found their deeply emotional testimony (one of them attempted suicide during the ordeal) completely credible, awarding more than $1 million in actual damages for the loss of housing and emotional distress. The court also noted that Bank of America had repeatedly settled cases with federal and state regulators for hundreds of millions, and even billions, of dollars, in recognition of serious and repeated compliance failures, including some related directly Continue reading →
We see all sorts of cases in foreclosure defense and just as many judicial personalities… goofy decisions, irresponsible and / or clueless judges but this one takes the cake! You would think that if you’re going to have your case heard by a trial judge – that he would be required to have some knowledge on the subject, right? Apparently, not in Hawaii’s Second Circuit Court.
A few years ago it appeared that many judges were just not up to speed on the foreclosure scheme, but lately it seems like there has to be a higher ilk that commands lower court to squash the homeowner and if they can afford to appeal, maybe then they’ll be worthy of some justice. Otherwise, presented with the evidence, acknowledging the bad paperwork and still ruling against the homeowner would be crazy or corrupt… or maybe both. This appears to be a case that would certainly seem to fit that synopsis. Continue reading →