Valley woman claims bank tossed son's Purple Heart medal

PHOENIX, AZ - A Phoenix woman claims her bank fraudulently foreclosed on her house and then threw away all her belongings.

Among the possessions Lilly Washington claims she lost is a Purple Heart medal her son received while serving in the Army in Iraq.

Back in the summer of 2010, Washington tells ABC15 she began the loan modification process with Bank of America on her home located near 35th Avenue and Camelback.

But after her son suffered an injury while serving with the Army, Washington flew to Germany to visit him in the hospital.

Before she left the United States, Washington received a letter from Bank of America that read "We will await your return...to finish your loan modification process."

"Bank of America lied to me and stole my house without my permission," said Washington.

After just three weeks in Germany, Washington returned home to Arizona to find a for sale sign in her front yard and new locks on her doors.

Washington broke one of those locks and went inside only to find the place empty.

"Everything was empty," said Washington. "Upstairs, downstairs. The whole house was empty."

Washington called the number on the for sale sign, which belonged to Fannie Mae.

She claims a representative from Fannie Mae told her they took all her belongings to the dump, including the Purple Heart medal.

"I said 'how did you do that,'" said Washington of the conversation with Fannie Mae. "He's fighting for his country and you steal from his home? Everything?"

Washington tells ABC15 she challenged Bank of America in court and won the right to remain in her house but only as a renter.

She's filed a separate suit seeking a clean title to her home and for Bank of America as well as Fannie Mae to reimburse her for everything she says they threw away in the trash.

A spokesperson for Bank of America did not respond to ABC15's request for comment for this story.

Members of Washington's church helped her replace some of the items in her house including a TV and a couch.

The Home Defenders League is hosting a BBQ Thursday night , May 31st, to support Washington.

It's being held at Washington's house, 3805 W Oregon, Phoenix, and gets underway at 5 p.m.

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