Once every few years there comes a story that is so awesome that you have to post it on your blog because it will bring a smile to the face of everyone who reads it. This is such a story.
It started five months ago when Bank of America filed foreclosure papers on the home of a couple, who didn’t owe a dime on their home. The couple said they paid cash for the house. The case went to court and the homeowners were able to prove they didn’t owe Bank of America anything on the house. In fact, it was proven that the couple never even had a mortgage bill to pay. A Collier County Judge agreed and after the hearing, Bank of America was ordered, by the court to pay the legal fees of the homeowners’, Maurenn Nyergers and her husband. The Judge said the bank wrongfully tried to foreclose on the Nyergers’ house.
So, how did it end with bank being foreclosed on? After more than 5 months of the judge’s ruling, the bank still hadn’t paid the legal fees, and the homeowner’s attorney did exactly what the bank tried to do to the homeowners. He seized the bank’s assets. “They’ve ignored our calls, ignored our letters, legally this is the next step to get my clients compensated, ” attorney Todd Allen told CBS. Sheriff’s deputies, movers, and the Nyergers’ attorney went to the bank and foreclosed on it. The attorney gave instructions to to remove desks, computers, copiers, filing cabinets and any cash in the teller’s drawers. After about an hour of being locked out of the bank, the bank manager handed the attorney a check for the legal fees.
“As a foreclosure defense attorney this is sweet justice” says Allen. He says this is something that he sees often in court, banks making errors because they didn’t investigate the foreclosure and it becomes a lengthy and expensive battle for the homeowner.
Of course, after I’d spent a minute or two indulging in schadenfreude, the freude vanished and left only the schaden when I considered the implications of this story. It’s really a small-scale demonstration of the fact that many folks have noted on the large scale over the past few months: that corporate leaders can commit any crime and get away with it. In the grand scheme of things, the titans at Bank of America and elsewhere lent trillions of dollars inappropriately, preyed on the poor and racial minorities, defrauded investors out of billions, and lied about all of it shamelessly. In return, not a single one of them has been convicted of any crime, and most of them have scooped up million-dollar salaries and bonuses thanks to the involuntary generosity of the taxpayers. In this particular case, Bank of America flatly tried to steal a house from two people. Eventually their attempt failed and they were forced to pay the couple’s attorney fees, but that was it for punishment. If you or I tried to steal a house or anything equivalent to a house, we’d soon go to jail. Corporate leaders simply have privileges that the rest of us don’t have.