by Barry Fagan
Superior Court judge George Bowden ruled that Bank of America's actions had been "unfair and deceptive" and voided the foreclosure.
Judge George N. Bowden of the Superior Court in Washington State ruled against Bank of America (BoA) in a foreclosure battle that ended with the nonjudicial foreclosure sale under the Deed of Trust Act (DTA). Bowden acknowledged that this case was like most; “convoluted in the minefield” that is the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) system. Bradburn, the homeowner, was told by BoA “that he should stop making his mortgage payments so that he could qualify for refinancing.”
BoA ensured that this homeowner was in default of the mortgage by promising to refinance; then initiated litigation against the homeowner to retrieve the property for failure by Bradburn to remain current on his payments.
Bowden pointed out that the DTA “seems to contemplate a borrower and a lender with an independent trustee having the power to foreclose on the deed of trust in the event of default by the borrower. The lender would normally hold the underlying note and be the beneficiary of it. Here matters have been complicated by the sale of the underlying note from HomeStar Lending to Countrywide, which was later acquired by [BoA].”
This is another major victory against the unethical and illegal foreclosures industry that has left millions of Americans homeless. It's also a strike against the widespread practice of having companies that have an incentive to foreclose act as the "trustee" on the home—in this case it was ReconTrust, which itself is a subsidiary of Bank of America. They're supposed to be neutral under state law.