Thursday, August 20, 2009

OOPS, right city wrong house, my bad.

Woman's House Mistakenly Auctioned by Bank
A Homestead woman's home was auctioned to the highest bidder
Updated 5:38 PM EDT, Wed, Aug 19, 2009

You know times are tough when people are getting kicked out of their house when it’s not even for sale.

That’s what happened to Anna Ramirez after she found all of her stuff out on the front lawn of her Homestead home last week and a strange man demanding she get out of his newly purchased house.

The eviction came after Ramirez’s home was mistakenly auctioned off to the highest bidder by her bank, Washington Mutual (yes, we know WaMu is now Chase, but we're in denial). Usually, you get a warning before you get the boot. A foreclosure letter. Maybe a sign saying your house is up for sale. Not Ramirez, who found her belongings bashed and battered in the street.

"This came out of nowhere," Ramirez said. "The bank took the house from right under my feet."

The man who bought the house told Ramirez he paid $87,000 for it, which shocked Ramirez, who bought the house for $260,000.

What's worse is her husband, daughter and grand children were also kicked out by Homestead and Miami-Dade police officers, said Martha Taylor, who witnessed the unexpected eviction.

"I have never seen anything like it," Taylor said. "They literally threw all her stuff on the front lawn. I didn't sleep that night and it wasn't even my house."

Ramirez and her family had three hours to get out of the house, police ordered. They had to stash their belongings at multiple locations and shacked up with a friend for the night as cops chained the doors of their home. With Taylor's help, Ramirez appeared before a judge two days later to explain what happened.

"I had all my stuff scattered everywhere," she said. "They did this in front all my neighbors. It was so embarassing."

A mistake in the Miami-Dade Clerk's Office appears to be behind the mishap, which landed Ramirez homeless for more than 24 hours.

The sale was eventually reversed by a Miami-Dade judge, allowing Ramirez to return to her old digs. Ramirez said she wants to sue for the damage to her furniture.

Ramirez has lived in the house for three years and recently refinanced the home with the bank.

"This shouldn't be happening, you know, because we did the right thing," she said. "We went step by step."

First Published: Aug 18, 2009 1:38 PM EDT