How to find out what a bank has done with money meant for a land payment?

My dad passed recently. He had just made the last payment on a piece of land. I went to get the deed,and the bank tells me that it was foreclosed on 4 years ago. Yet we never received any papers in all this time.I know he was having the money drafted for the payments. The bank says they don’t know where the money was going, yet they were taking the payments. How do I go about finding out what they were doing with the money? We have been paying the taxes every year, just made one for this year. If they had foreclosed on it, why were we still receiving tax notice to pay? Had we had received a forclosure notice 4 years ago we would have tried to find out then where the money was going. Now what can be done to get this straightened out? Something seems strange when a bank can’t tell you where the money was going.

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Is this a national bank? It usually has NA in it or national association? If you don't know off hand, the FDIC has a bank directory that can tell you who regulates this bank. Contact the bank's regulator and file a complaint. At the same time, go through the cancelled checks (let's assume your father had kept statements or had them sent to his home) and see what the coding is on bank. Check the registry of deeds in the state in which the land is located to see if there is a record of the foreclosure and title transfer. Do some of this investigative work and file this complaint with the proper regulator and you should see how if the notices were not properly given the land title would be returned to your family.

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