Bank of America Tries to Foreclose on a Seabrook House That Isn’t There

How was Seabrook homeowner Brad Gana able to wriggle out of foreclosure proceedings on his home at the last minute? By hiring a lawyer to argue that his house does not exist. And indeed, the visual evidence is compelling: All that’s left of Gana’s waterfront structure at 1910 Todville Rd., which apparently washed away 3 years ago during Hurricane Ike while Gana was working overseas, is an empty slab, protected by a front gate and littered until recently with a few of Gana’s tools and collectibles. (After the proceedings were canceled, KPRC’s Amy Davis reports, Bank of America had those items removed from the property.)


But evidence that the house did still exist must have been compelling to Bank of America officials, because sometime after the hurricane, the lender took out a forced homeowner’s insurance policy on it. When premiums for that policy went up, the bank foreclosed. Gana claims he was never notified of the payment change, and says he always paid his mortgage on time; he found out about the foreclosure only 2 days before his house was scheduled to be sold. A bank representative tells Davis the insurance had been “incorrectly placed.”

Also destroyed in Hurricane Ike: the mailbox on the property where Bank of America says it kept sending Gana notices about his mortgage. For some reason, they kept getting returned to the bank. Gana tells Davis he had provided the bank with an email address and 2 phone numbers where he could be reached overseas; a bank rep says they’ll now use that info to contact Gana and “work with him directly to address his concerns.”

Photo: Click2Houston

11 Comment

  • i feel bad for those who lost everything, i couldn’t even imagine how that must feel. However, when one takes the risk to build a home on basically a sandbar, what else could be expected? This wasn’t the first time a hurricane ravaged Galveston, and it certainly won’t be the last. There are some places in the mountains in the Los Angeles area that are so prone to land slides that no one will insure homes there, yet people still build. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

  • This is a crazy story.
    Surely there was some sort of Demo after Ike. I mean, every stick & pipe of that home didn’t just vanish via wind and waves!
    So, there is some record of damage & some way a lien holder c/w/should know of it.
    Maybe Mortgagers and Insurers need to do drive-bys every once in a while.

  • I guess you didn’t venture down to Bolivar to see the Ike damage with your own eyes did you, Movocelot? Not only were their ENTIRE houses missing, there were entire BLOCKS of houses missing. The were MANY examples of lots that were basically scraped clean by the storm surge. Where a house once stood, now only a slab/driveway/stilts; everything else gone.

    The real question here is: What happened to the insurance proceeds? Obviously, the homeowner hasn’t rebuilt. BofA should have had some claim to the insurance payout to pay down their loan. Where did it go?

  • More evidence of poor management by BOA?

  • Did the story say Seabrook? Yes its on the bay. Long way from Bolivar and Galveston.

  • D-man: The issue wasn’t that his house was blown away. The issue is that after it ceased to exist, BOA took out an homeowners insurance policy on the ex-house and tried to charge Gana for it by sending the bills to his now nonexistent mailbox. When he didn’t pay for his new homeowners insurance (insuring a home that didn’t exist, mind you), they foreclosed. BOA is run by incompetent robots.

  • The only insurance scenario that makes any sense is if the owner was paying for all three coverages necessary for a Seabrook loan this close to the water (homeowners, windstorm and flood) separately from the mortgage and the policies lapsed for non-payment prior to Ike. A single interest homeowners policy (interest being the lender) would protect BofA against any COVERED perils including liability in case someone wanders about the slab site and falls. If there was indeed a homeowners policy in effect, the bank insurance wasn’t necessary, but if that was the only policy when Ike hit, no insurance payout since windstorm and flood would be excluded.

  • D-Man, Todville Road in Seabrook isn’t on Galveston, it’s way up at the end of Galveston Bay in Harris County – not exactly building on a sandbar.
    Bernard, practically every casualty insurance policy I’ve ever seen – particularly at the consumer level – has the lender as a “loss payee” – so I imagine that BoA was in the loop somehow.
    I agree with Brad – these slice and dice bozos wouldn’t know how to pour swampwater out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel. I’m going around and around with my PREVIOUS servicer, who followed the notice that they’d transferred the servicing to someone else with a demand for insurance 30 days later, and a “force place” notice 30 days after that, my “read your own *@%$&# file” letter to them notwithstanding.

  • BOA can’t fail soon enough.

  • From watching another friend rebuild on Toddville road after Ike, I can tell you that whatever proceeds Gana got from the various insurance payouts were probably not going to cover a mortgage balance anywhere near the appraised value of a house there before Ike. In my friend’s case, the windstorm coverage took care of her roof, but not the storm surge that sucked her house off of its foundation. The city of Seabrook declared it unsafe so she couldn’t live there while trying to figure out a next step. The flood coverage she had would only pay for the water damage done up to the height of the surge (3′ into her home) but not the fact that her home was unsafe. She ended up suing the insurers and eventually rebuilt after scraping it to the slab with her own savings. Not a pretty picture. I am sure that the situation with BOA and Gana is full of incompetencies at every turn.

  • Whoo !! Another BofA mess. A greedy bank at its worst .