Buyer Sues California Rep. Richardson Over Foreclosure

An investor who bought a congresswoman's foreclosed home filed a lawsuit against the legislator and her bank for rescinding the sale.

James York had purchased the home at auction in May for $388,000 after Rep. Laura Richardson failed to make her mortgage payments. He claims Richardson used her influence as a congresswoman to force Washington Mutual Inc. and a subsidiary to later back out of the sale.

"They rescinded the notice of trustee sale and put it back in her name before even telling me," York said. "It's not a difficult case. It's a valid sale."

His lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court seeks to have the house returned to him, as well as punitive damages and costs.

Richardson, a Democrat from Long Beach, bought the house in January 2007 for $535,000. She previously told The Associated Press that it was sold without her knowledge and after the bank agreed to delay action.

The lawsuit was served to the defendants Friday.

Richardson's spokesman, William Marshall, said the congresswoman had not seen it and declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Washington Mutual, Sara Gaugl, said the company would have no comment because Richardson had not authorized it to speak about her case.