It now takes an average of 634 to foreclose on a home in Maryland, but one couple has managed to live large in their 4,900 square-foot abode on the Potomac River for nearly three times as long — all without ever having made a single mortgage payment.
The couple, former house-flippers turned foreclosure-fighters, actually spent very little on the $1.2 million property that they purchased in late 2005. Not only they get a mortgage for $1 million, they also found another lender to foot the down payment.
But when the first $7,600 mortgage payment came due in 2007, the couple, who owned several buildings at the time, decided to focus on keeping up their income properties rather than the one that only served to drain their income.
“Do we put the money we had left in this one? Or is it better to spread it to the others?” the husband explains to the Washington Post about their mindset at the time.
The first foreclosure attempt in 2007 was stalled after the wife declared bankruptcy, a claim that was later dismissed at her own request.
In 2010, the latest company to buy the note on the couple’s home attempted to foreclose. They agreed to a short sale at the low, low price of $799,000 but no one was willing to pay even that price.
The couple says they offered to make payments to this particular servicer, but were told “no thanks,” and that the servicer preferred to foreclose instead.
They requested mediation from the state, but didn’t show up to the hearing, claiming they never received the notice. A Circuit Court judge ordered the house sold.
But the wife then filed for bankruptcy again, this time in Georgia, where she owned another property. This stalled the foreclosure process until this past July, when it was finally auctioned off.
The end? Nope.
See, the couple challenged the auction sale, claiming they had a tenant in the building, which could keep them in the house even after the sale.
But when it came time for the hearing on this issue, the mystery tenant did not appear with the couple in court, in spite of the judge ordering that they be in attendance.
As a last-ditch attempt, the couple tried to claim that the servicer could not prove it owned the house and that documents had been robosigned. Alas, the lawyer for the servicer was able to provide documentation right then and there showing that all the paperwork was in order.
So the judge ordered the couple evicted from the house and they are just waiting to be evicted by the sheriff.
“People think, because you haven’t paid, you must be a bad person. But not everything is black and white,” says the husband, who is still hoping an investor will swoop in, buy the property and then sell it back to the couple. “A lot of things happen between the lines.”
Thanks to Max for the tip!