Home Sold Twice to Two Different Buyers

Sheree R. Curry

Douglas Garhartt and Brandon Lively would like to finish laying down new carpet in the four-story ocean-view townhouse they purchased as a short sale in March, as well as re-do the kitchen and the master bath, but they are afraid it could be money down the drain." We had to stop because we don't know if it is our house or not," says Garhartt, who has a deed to the property. But an investment group also has a deed to the property. It turns out OneWest Bank sold the home to both parties days apart, cashing both of their checks.

Garhartt and Lively purchased the three-bedroom condo in San Clemente, Calif., on March 11 as a short sale for $365,000 -- far less than the $712,552 the seller owed on the loan -- and moved in. Then on March 15, Saint John Trust purchased the same property at auction for $346,896 and immediately sent Garhartt and Lively an eviction notice. (Notice how the two amounts totaled nearly equal the amount of the seller's mortgage.)

So who is going to get the home?