Bank of America cuts check for Estates couple in mistaken foreclosure case

Warren Nyerges bought his Golden Gate Estates home in September 2009 from Bank of America. On Feb. 18, 2010, he was served a foreclosure lawsuit from the company, which has apologized and said the suit is being dropped.

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Warren Nyerges bought his Golden Gate Estates home in September 2009 from Bank of America. On Feb. 18, 2010, he was served a foreclosure lawsuit from the company, which has apologized and said the suit is being dropped.

NAPLES — When Bank of America tried to foreclose on Warren and Maureen Nyerges' fully-paid, Golden Gate Estates home last year, it was a mistake.

When the couple's attorney arrived at a Bank of America branch Friday morning with deputies, a moving company and a court writ permitting him to seize furniture and cash to recoup fees in the case, it was a last alternative.

"This could have all been settled for nothing a while ago, but it got completely blown out of proportion," Warren Nyerges, 46, said on Thursday.

In a scene that turns Southwest Florida's foreclosure crisis on its head, Collier Sheriff's deputies delivered the writ to a Davis Boulevard branch of the bank on Friday morning, presenting the bank manager with two options — he could either pay the $2,500 in attorneys fees the Nyergeses were awarded in December, or the movers would begin taking furniture and cash.

An hour later, as reporters and movers waited outside, the bank agreed to cut a check.

"I don't know any other way we could've done this," Nyerges attorney Todd Allen said.

The Daily News reported on Bank of America's mistaken foreclosure attempt in 2010, as Warren Nyerges fought the case in court without an attorney.

The couple, who moved to Naples from Ohio, bought the single-story, 2,700-square-foot home from Bank of America with cash in 2009. A mortgage was never executed in the purchase, either with Bank of America or any other lender.

After he received the foreclosure complaint in 2010, Warren Nyerges fought it on the phones and in court for two months before its dismissal. He then sought the attorneys fees for his trouble, a request granted in a December judgment.

Some five months and repeated phone calls later, neither Bank of America nor its local counsel, the troubled David J. Stern law firm, had paid the judgment or responded to Nyerges. The homeowner said he even tried calling bank CEO Brian Moynihan, to no avail.

"They refused to pay," Nyerges said. "And I tried everything I could, to anyone who would listen to me."

In January they hired Allen, a foreclosure defense attorney. Yet Allen's attempts to get the money also failed to produce a response. Allen said he then sent letters to Bank of America's general counsel, warning the couple he would pursue a levy.

Allen obtained a writ of execution from the court — permission, basically, to seize assets to satisfy a judgment — and he took it to the Sheriff's Office. Warren Nyerges paid a $10,000 bond, and the Sheriff's Office hired movers.

Friday morning, two deputies entered the office and confronted the bank manager. As Allen, Maureen Nyerges and the movers waited outside, the manager called supervisors.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the movers departed and the sheriff's deputies followed. Allen was told the maanger cut a check, although he wasn't immediately told the amount.

A Bank of America spokeswoman apologized to the couple in a statement emailed on Friday afternoon.

"We apologize to Mr. Nyegres that there was a delay in receiving the funds," Christina Beyer wrote. "The original request went to an outside attorney who is no longer in business."

The Stern law firm has been withdrawing from cases across the state after falling under the scrutiny of the state Attorney General's Office for its foreclosure-related practices.

Allen said that after leaving the bank on Friday, he was contacted by the bank's new counsel, Florida Default Law Group. Allen said he won't be satisfied until he sees the check amount and it ensures it covers the judgment.

The case, meanwhile, isn't over. Allen said he'll seek for the bank to cover his own attorney fees.

"If Bank of America doesn't pay it, we'll be back doing this again," he said.

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