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Wrongful foreclosures


Is it possible for proud home owners who pay their mortgages on time to have their houses foreclosed on? KPLU’s John Maynard talks with real estate appraiser Richard Hagar who says this sort of thing happens all the time, thanks to sloppy bank practices.

Examples of this are rampant, says Hagar.

  • There's the story of a U.S. serviceman in Afghanistan who returned stateside only to find complete strangers living in his house. What happened? While he was away, his bank mistakenly foreclosed on his home and auctioned it off.
  • Another horror story involves a family who paid off their mortgage free and clear, then rented their house out. The renter kept getting bank notices in the mail addressed to the owner, but ignored them because they looked like junk mail.  But it turns out those were foreclosure notices. 

How do homeowners protect themselves from these type of banking mistakes?

Hagar says, first and foremost,  pay attention to any mail, calls or emails coming from a bank.

Those notices may be more than just junk or spam.  It might be a bank proceeding with a wrongful foreclosure due to poor bank practices such as "robo signing." That's the process of signing complex documents without first evaluating their contents. And in some cases, that can lead banks to foreclose on property that isn't even theirs. 

John Maynard started working in radio in the seventies as a DJ at Seattle’s KJR AM which at the time was the dominant AM station in the Seattle market. After a brief stint as a restaurateur and night club owner, Maynard returned to radio with Robin Erickson, creating the hugely popular “Robin and Maynard Show.” In the more than 20 years under that marquee, Maynard flew with the Blue Angels, piloted the Goodyear Blimp, sang with Donny Osmond and hung out in a Universal Studios bar with Kojak (Telly Savalas).
Richard Hagar's real estate career spans more than 30 years. He currently serves as a real estate investor, real estate agent, appraiser, and an SRA with the Appraisal Institute.