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Posted by on Sep 7, 2012 in Foreclosures/REOs | 9 comments | Print Print

Mistaken Foreclosure

Hat tip to daytrip for sending this in, from CBSLA:

The owners of a modest home near Twentynine Palms lost their cherished possessions after a bank mistakenly foreclosed their residence.  A crew broke into Alvin and Pat Tjosaas’ desert home and took everything after being directed by Wells Fargo to secure the structure.

The couple, however, didn’t have a mortgage on the home.

Alvin said the deputy sheriff said, “Good news, we know who took (your possessions)…Wells Fargo. Bad news, your stuff is all gone.”

All the married couple has now are three generations of memories.


Alvin, a retired mason, built the home with his father when he was a teenager.

“I know every inch, every rock…my mom mixed all the cement by hand,” he said.  Alvin and his wife would later bring their six children to their desert oasis. “My little kids (would) come out here and their dresses were the same color as the wildflowers,” said Alvin.

A spokesman for Wells Fargo released a statement apologizing to the couple.

“We are deeply sorry for the very personal losses the Tjosaas family suffered as a result of their home being mistakenly secured,” said Alfredo Padilla. “We are moving quickly to reach out to the family to resolve this unfortunate situation in an attempt to right this wrong.”

Alvin and Pat remain distraught.

“When you put your heart into something…it makes me real sad. I’m just glad I have my sweetheart. We’ve been together a long time,” said Alvin.


  1. Mistakes happen. The legal system will assign a monetary value to the emotional damage and add that to the value of the lost chattels. Would it be reasonable to charge someone at the bank with criminal negligence for failing to confirm that they were acting properly, had the right property address, and so forth? There aren’t a lot of these cases, but enough that more should be done to prevent them.

  2. Maybe I just don’t understand how the foreclosure process is supposed to work, but isn’t the whole point of “securing” a home you’re taking possession of supposed to be to PREVENT it from being wrecked?

  3. Terrible reporting. What was lost? What was done with it? What does the law say about what must be done with personal belongings when a bank takes possession of a house?

  4. wells fargo should pay these folks 50,000.00 for all the hassle.

  5. First all the more reason to digitize family pictures and keep a copy off site.
    Second was it an address confusion or what happened. It sounds like an address confusion, as it appears that no notices were given.

  6. I wonder how many other people had their homes foreclosed on that shouldn’t have?

  7. Mistake? Why is this not considered burglary? If I did this to someone’s home, I am pretty sure I would be arrested and charged.

  8. Goodness, it was so nice of Wells Fargo to apologize. It appears that even those doing God’s work can err from time to time.

  9. What part of this is “God’s work”??