New Victims Of Foreclosure Freeze

By Susy Solis
|  Friday, Oct 8, 2010  |  Updated 12:59 PM CDT
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The Harrells have sold their home and were about to move into a foreclosure home they bought, but the AG's foreclosure freeze leaves them without a place to live.

Susy Solis, NBCDFW.com

The Harrells have sold their home and were about to move into a foreclosure home they bought, but the AG's foreclosure freeze leaves them without a place to live.

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Aaron and Worth Anne Herrell were set to begin the next chapter in their lives.

The couple sold their home and signed the final paperwork at 9 a.m. At 2 p.m. they were going to close on the home they planned to move into that would accomodate their expanding family.

But a swift move by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott put an end to that. On Tuesday, Abbott wrote a letter to 27 mortgage and loan service companies to stop all foreclosure activity, including buying and selling foreclosed properties and evicting people living in those properties.

Abbott's concern is the practice of "robosigning" by several large companies, including Bank of America. "Robosigning" is a practice in which bank employees sign thousands of foreclosure documents without reading or verifying their accuracy.

The companies addressed in the letter are asked to obey the moratorium until Oct. 15, the deadline the targeted companies have to identify any employees who may have participated in unlawful practices. The companies are asked to prove to the state they are complying with Texas law.

The Herrell's have already sold their home and must be moved out in two days while the foreclosed home they had their hearts set on will continue to sit vacant.

"I know that the Attorney General might be trying to save some people that were foreclosed on unfairly, maybe they are, maybe they aren't, but there's another side of people being victimized," Worth Anne said. "We pay our mortgage. We do what we are supposed to do. We found a house we like that just happened to be a foreclosure. We didn't buy it because it was a foreclosure, we loved the house."

The title company that is closing the deal for the Harrell's said they don't have a timeline of when the family can actually move into the home.

"I don't know whether to find housing for a month, I don't know whether to find housing for a week, I don't know whether to just move in with somebody or go find a rent house," said Worth Anne.

The couple had already made plans with movers, painters and utility companies so they could settle into their new home.

"We need to call every single utility, cable, alarm company and tell them not to start service today, which in many cases, we might be charged anyway," Worth Anne said.

The couple is scrambling to find a storage unit to place their furniture.

A spokesman for the Attorney General's office suggested the couple put pressure on the company that owns the foreclosed home they wanted to buy and ask them to make sure they let the AG's office know that they are complying with Texas law. Only then, will the company be able to get back to business.

For the now the Harrell's future is in limbo.

"We are just at loss of what to do," said Worth Anne.

UPDATE: On Friday, October 8 the Harrell family got their new home. The title company agreed to allow them to buy the home and they have signed the paperwork.

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