Homes being sold that are not free and clear

Video Courtesy of Channel 8 News, Tampa

Reporting By Shannon Behnken

Published November 17, 2012

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Oscar Estrada paid cash for his condo two years ago but now the previous owner's bank is trying to foreclose on his property.


A Tampa man paid cash for his Condo two years ago but now the previous owners of bank is trying to foreclose and take his house. So how does something like that happen? A number of home buyers are being misled into buying homes they don't actually own free and clear.

"They misled me. And I think that's wrong."

Oscar Estrada bought this condo two years ago. He received the title. Plus all the property taxes in association bills that come
with homeownership. Then this year he's being sued for foreclosure.

"I thought this was my place. I renovated it. This is depressing -- you know when you get news like this when you think that it's actually yours and it is not."

It turns out Estrada's property rights are actually second to US Bain which is now foreclosing against the previous homeowner. But this wasn't spelled out when Estrada bought the condo.

Real estate attorneys are telling me that this is not an isolated case. Homeowners associations are trying to recoup money -- and they are not under any obligation to tell you they're not selling the beautiful property free and clear.

I called Ross and asked if there was a moral obligation. Attorney Charles Bossier says

Estrada enjoyed the rights to this property for two years. He may not have fully understood the consequences but he should have retained his own attorney. And that doesn't sit well with Estrada.

Here are two red flags to look for: A quick claim deed most likely means you are second in line behind a bank. And no title insurance! A title company would not ensure this kind of deal!