Homeowner discovers mysterious lien from bank on his property in Sargent

November 9, 2012 3:54:39 PM PST
A simple home sale became a big problem for a family in Sargent, Texas after they found out a lien was placed on their property that the family knew nothing about. The bank that placed the lien was not offering much help, until Action 13's Jeff Ehling got involved.

The couple says they bought the land in question five years ago and did a title search that came back clear. That should have been the end of things, but when the couple recently tried to sell the home they say a mysterious lien popped up that caused huge problems.

Michael Bartosh has loved the time he has spent in his Sargent waterfront home.

"It is waterfront on the inter coastal, and beach view and this I might add was the number one rental property here in Sargent for the last three years," said Bartosh.

But Bartosh is selling the home and after finding a buyer, the process should have been simple. However, the sale was held up when Bartosh's title company informed him their was a lien on the property from Bank of America.

"I said, 'Impossible, I do no business with Bank of America,' and I said, 'We paid cash for our home, so there were not liens on this home, no liens on the property,'" Bartosh explained.

He says when he bought the property five years ago a title search showed no liens, but now Bank of America has one on the property. Bartosh says he has never been a customer of the bank and that led to problems in finding a solution.

"They, for several days, would not communicate with me since I was not their customer," he said. "They did not want to communicate with me, they did not want to give any information, they did not respond to the title company."

So we contacted Bank of America and after a week of digging, the company told us, "We are in the process of correcting the issue and we have prepared the necessary documents to have the lien released."

The lien has now been removed, but Bartosh says what made matters worse, the waterfront home has been sold. However, the money from the sale sat in escrow and was untouchable until the lien was removed.

"Their fraudulent lien has cost me money," he said.

Bartosh says Bank of America is reimbursing him for some of those costs. As for how this happened, we have asked the bank several times but have not yet gotten an answer to that question.

It does happen often and it can cause big headaches. In this case the property was paid off so the homeowner would have no idea the lien was there at all.


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