SUING FOR UNLAWFUL FORECLOSURE AND/OR QUIETING TITLE
Oftentimes, a bank or other entity has wrongly commenced a foreclosure action against a borrower and home owner. In such an instance, the borrower has a valid lawsuit against the plaintiff in the prior foreclosure action for commencing a “frivolous” or unlawful foreclosure against the borrower. I believe in bringing such an action against the bank or plaintiff under the federal RICO Act, which is the federal anti-mafia or anti-organized crime act. Other statutes, especially state ones, may apply, but the RICO Act has the most “teeth,” in my opinion.
Under the federal RICO Act, the court may award the following unlawful foreclosure damages:
Triple actual damages, and
Needless to say, no bank wants to lose a lawsuit under the anti-mafia statute. It looks really bad and could result in criminal prosecution, though that may be unlikely. Some banks have been found to have laundered money for drug cartels or for banned foreign governments in the past. However, the banks really do not want to lose a lawsuit for violating the RICO Act for their lending and/or foreclosure practices.
Also oftentimes, the bank has botched its previous foreclosure action(s) against a borrower/home owner and is barred by law from commencing a new one against that borrower. If that is the case, I believe the home owner should commence a “quiet title action” against the bank, asking the court to rescind or void the Note and Mortgage, thus striking the Mortgage from the public record. If you win a quiet title action against the bank, thus, the Mortgage should be removed from the public record, and you likely will not have to pay the Mortgage ever again.
I mention these two kinds of lawsuits together because I like to bring them simultaneously in one single action against the bank and its predecessor(s) in interest. That way, the bank is “between a rock and a hard place.” For example, if you bring a quiet title action against the bank, the bank quite often will claim it never had title to thee Note and Mortgage to begin with. That is the bank’s usual defense. If the bank fights against your quiet title action in this way, however, the bank is apparently admitting its violation of RICO, in my opinion. Thus, if the bank disclaims title to the Note and Mortgage, it opens itself up to the action for unlawful foreclosure. If the bank fights the RICO action, on the other hand, it admits that the borrower has filed a valid “quiet title” claim. Either way, the bank appears to be admitting its fault as to one of your 2 claims if you bring them both simultaneously.