Unfortunately, surreal stories like this will very soon become daily news. As was pointed out yesterday, Simi Valley has just seen the first case of a forced reclamation of a foreclosed home, after Jim and Danielle Earl took their nine (9!) children, ages 9-23, and a locksmith and broke into the six-bedroom house that had been foreclosed upon for lack of payment, and on which the couple owed $880,000! And where would such brilliant advice originate from? Why, the couple's lawyer of course, who will one day be seen as the prophetic visionary who stole the bankers wealth from underneath them and handed it out to America's millions of starving lawyers, one billing sheet at a time: "The move was recommended by their lawyer" as the WSJ suggests. Already in process: millions of cases identical to this one, billions in legal fees, and hundreds of billions in lost market value of associated equity and credit instrument, not to mention very unpleasant days for LPs in "Recovery" funds.
More on the family:
The Earls paid $500,000 for the house in 2001 and then refinanced to pull out cash. They fell behind on their mortgage and at the time of their eviction they owed about $880,000 on a no-interest mortgage.
Investors at Conejo Capital bought the house for $697,000 at a lender’s trustee sale and put $40,000 of work into a remodel, replacing carpeting and appliances, as well as upgrading the kitchen. They flipped it to new buyers for $800,000. Those buyers were supposed to move in this week; those plans are on hold.
The Earls claim that they were working with GRP Financial Services to catch up on payments, but discovered a $25,000 difference between what they believed they owed and what the bank said they owed. They then stopped making payments.
“This is only the beginning of this,” the Earls’ attorney, Michael Pines tells KABC News. “I chose this family because we needed to get back in before the investor and the real-estate broker defrauded a new family by having them move in, which would have created a bigger mess. (The Earls) have done absolutely nothing wrong.”
So there you have it: people who owe $880,000 on their mortgage believe it is their right to reclaim homes. We will avoid any ethical commentary on this, suffice to say that it is the bankers who in the greed and stupidity have managed to dig themselves into what could be a hole so deep not even TARP 2-XXX can dig them out of.
For a clip of this surreal harbinger of things to come, click below.