Coming to the realization that the City of Richmond had absolutely no intention of fixing the neighborhood flooding problem and Bank of America had absolutely no intention of working with us in finding a more equitable agreement to finance a house that was assessed for an unprecedented amount of $4,000 as the result of Richmond’s lack of proper infrastructure, our house was foreclosed upon.
Once we were notified of the bank’s auction date, I notified the bank to advise them of the potential of a very eager buyer, the City of Richmond, in that purchasing the property would be a very inexpensive solution for the city to mitigate the flooding in the neighborhood by officially using it as a catch basin.
I, of course, had been trying to get this point across to the bank for several months before foreclosure proceedings began as a prophylaxis to a lot of wasted time and resources on everyone’s part but I was dealing with Bank of America after all.
I also notified Richmond City Manager, Bill Lindsay, (for similar prophylactic reasons) that the city now had a unique opportunity to broker a deal with the bank to acquire the property. The advantage of this was that Richmond then could condemn the property, raze the house, and then use the land as an official catch basin for its neighborhood drainage system as opposed to the unofficial and, more importantly, illegal use that the city benefitted from for the past thirty-plus years. Additionally, I pointed out that solar arrays could be erected on the vacant lot since the property was advantageously situated towards “solar south” providing “green revenue” for the neighborhood.
Since we were already being foreclosed upon, there was absolutely no benefit to us in fostering an agreement between the two parties other than knowing that no one else would purchase the property and be subjected to what we endured. Additionally, the neighborhood would at least have an inexpensive solution to its flooding problem and we would leave it a little better off than when we came.
Alas, one need look no further than a large corporation or city hall to observe that bureaucratic and political wits are invariably dim. So, why would anyone allow this opportunity to prove otherwise?
Thus, the property went up for auction and no one bid on it.
It reverted back to the bank as an REO (Real Estate Owned).
However, before being put on the market these events transpired:
First, the bank attempted to donate the property to Richmond but negotiations failed. (?!!!) Apparently, one of the concerns of the city council was "the cost of tearing down the house". Umm, you would have gotten it for FREE!
Next, it was flagged for the NSP (Neighborhood Stabilization Program).
Finally, it was put into Bank of America’s ADP (Alternative Disposition Strategy).
Since it was 2012 and I thought that the Mayans may have been on to something, I believed in the slim possibility that someone at the City of Richmond would be walking in the plaza of the recently-renovated $100 million Richmond Civic Center, have the clouds open up, be struck with a bolt of lightening, and be graced with a glimmer of clarity and common sense. But December 21st came and went and I’m still writing this blog.
As far as the next two steps taken by the bank regarding the REO, NSP and ADP, I wrote a representative of Bank of America and said:
"After all the money you've poured into blowing us off on a re-mod (over two years), trying to get us evicted, the foreclosure, etc., you could have donated it or sold it back to us as a
TBF (This Bastard's F@*#-ED!)."
That, dear reader, is not an acronym but an an initialism.