Homeowners Find Out Their House Is Stolen, Continue Making Mortgage Payments

A family in California thought they’d purchased their dream home last summer, only to later find out that the property had been stolen and illegally sold to them. Now they’re stuck making mortgage payments on a house they could be evicted from at any moment.

According to KABC-TV, the previous homeowners had walked away from the property a couple years back when they realized they wouldn’t be able to pay. But the bank never foreclosed on the property and someone saw an opportunity to score some cash by faking out the buyers, bank and title company.

“We actually got a call from the FBI who said we just wanted to inform you that your house has been part of a deed fraud scheme,” the husband tells KABC.

Now, lacking any guidance from the bank — Yes, it’s Bank of America, as if you needed to ask — or the title company, and not wanting to hurt their credit rating, the homeowners continue to make payments on a mortgage for a house they don’t own. “If you look at it, we’re renters in a house we can’t move out of,” says the husband.

Bank of America tells KABC it’s a victim in this sad situation too and that it’s working with the title company to figure things out. Meanwhile, when asked by KABC how this could happen in the first place, the title company responded:

For privacy reasons we cannot comment on the specifics of Mr. & Mrs. Zahari’s claim, however, generally the process of establishing title involves other necessary parties and is dependent on their cooperation. This process can be time consuming and complicated.

Meanwhile, the woman alleged to have stolen the house is currently on trial in Nevada.

FBI informs family they bought stolen house in Murrieta [KABC]

Thanks to Jon for the tip!