Mike and Jamie Vos always dreamed of buying a home where they would put down roots and raise their children. In 2008, they found a house that seemed perfect -- a two-story house on a quiet street in Buckley, Washington. For the first time their daughter, Autumn, then 5, and their son Cameron, then 11, would have their own bedrooms.
The Vos bought the house and regularly made their mortgage payments. But in early 2009 while the national economy was entering the worst downturn since the Great Depression, the family saw financial trouble looming and decided seek a loan modification in order to lower their monthly payments. They were turned down.
The Vos said that s when they sought advice from Bank of America, the bank that was servicing their loan.
Mike Vos said that he remembers the conversation well: They (Bank of America) said, We can't tell you to do this, we're just giving you information on it. If you don't make a payment for three months, it will show that you are in distress and you'll be put at the top of the order to be able to be helped.
After hearing that advice, the Vos said they stopped making payments, and applied again for a loan modification. They said the process was overwhelming and confusing.
It was this endless battle, it just seemed like, no matter what we couldn t win, Jamie Vos said. We would send things in 30 times and when they finally did say they got it they would wait so long after that they would say the paperwork had expired and we needed to do it again.
Jamie Vos said she would be on the phone with the bank for hours, but the next time she called there would be no record of the previous conversation.
On June 3, 2010, Bank of America denied their loan modification and the next day foreclosed and took possession of the Vos home.
The Vos said they pleaded with Bank of America to undo the foreclosure, noting that Mike s income had improved and they could make their payments. A month later, they received word in an e-mail from Bank of America that the foreclosure sale had been rescinded. But later the bank said the sale was not rescinded and the foreclosure would stand.
For two years the Vos fought to have the foreclosure reversed. When they received a second eviction notice in 2012, they contacted the KING 5 Investigators. After KING 5 contacted Bank of America, Rick Simon, a spokesman for Bank of America Home Loans, sent a statement apologizing for how the case was handled and said it was unclear why the Vos foreclosure was not reversed in 2010. (Watch the 2012 KING 5 story.)
I thought our prayers had been answered, said Jamie Vos, I thought it was finally an end to our fight. They had been exposed. They realized it and they were finally going to do what they were supposed to do in the first place.
But it wasn't over. In August 2012, Bank of America offered the Vos a trial loan modification but also said the family had to make mortgage payments for at least three months before the bank would rescind the foreclosure. The Vos said they didn t trust the bank and refused to make the payments.
Because our house was foreclosed on, it wasn't in our name, said Jamie Vos. Bank of America still had the deed to our house. I don t even know what we would have been making payments on. It makes no sense whatsoever to try to take payments on a house that is foreclosed on and they own it.
The eviction notices started arriving again. Rick Simon told KING 5 that once the Vos turned down what the bank considered to be a tremendous offer, the bank had to move forward with the eviction.
On July 16, 2014, just an hour before a scheduled interview with KING 5, a notice from Bank of America Home Loans was taped to the Vos front door. The notice said: The property in which you now reside has been foreclosed. As a result, the property is now being serviced by Bank of America. Bank of America s intention is to market and sell this property to interested buyers.
The notice said that a real estate agent had been assigned to sell the home.
God knows what we re supposed to tell the kids, because they know what s going on. It scares them. They re losing their home. It s horrible, devastating, said Jamie Vos.
But the Vos intend to continue to fight. They hired new attorneys who specialize in foreclosure litigation and consumer rights. Attorney Josh Trumbull told KING 5 that he believes the foreclosure was not just unfair -- that it was unlawful and the bank needs to fix it.
Trumbull said if that doesn t happen, then we're willing to represent them in the court system for as long as it takes to get an answer to their claims that we think this is a void sale and they were treated wrongly by the bank and they should be paid some damages.
Meantime, while they continue to live in limbo, the Vos say they fear the next knock on the door could be the sheriff ordering them to leave.
It will be one of the most devastating things that this whole family will go through. It s not just breaking my heart or his heart, it s breaking the kids heart, Jaimie Vos said.
It appears the Vos will be living in limbo a bit longer. This week, Bank of America sent KING 5 a statement saying it is once again putting the eviction on hold while it considers a broader range of options to assist the Vos s.
Cases like this led to the National Mortgage Settlement in 2012 between 49 state attorneys general, the federal government and the country's five biggest mortgage servicers, including Bank of America. The Vos said that they got $1,484 from that settlement.
They also received $6,000 after an independent mortgage review by federal bank regulators identified them as having been injured as a result of errors or misrepresentations during the foreclosure process. Neither settlement resolved the family s long fight to keep their home.
Foreclosures in Washington began increasing dramatically in the spring of 2009. According to RealtyTrac.com, foreclosure filings peaked in August 2010 at 6,760 homes statewide that month. The number of foreclosure filings has been falling ever since. RealtyTrac.com reports that there were 1,686 foreclosure filings in June of this year. Pierce County ranks 5th highest in the state for foreclosure filings. Currently, 1 in every 1,711 home mortgages in Washington are in foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac.com; the rate is 1 in every 785 homes in Pierce County.