Wells Fargo Goes to Great Lengths to Toss an Elderly Woman from Her Home…and Loses.
This is one of the most egregious foreclosure abuses I have seen to date and thankfully the Loan Lawyers foreclosure defense team put a stop to it. Our client was am elderly woman who lived in her Palm Beach county house since 1986. In fact, she built the house, so she has a real special connection to it. She took out a loan with World Savings Bank in 2007. She was supposed to have a bi-weekly payment loan, but when she got to the closing, she realized that the note they wanted her to sign was a monthly payment loan. She did not want to sign the closing paperwork, but she was promised that she would have a bi-weekly payment anyway. They gave her information on the bi-weekly program to sign and they charged her $50.00 at closing to set it up. She also signed allowing the bank with automatically deduct her bi-weekly payment.
Well, the first mortgage statement comes, and guess what? It was a monthly bill, not a bi-weekly bill. For two years she fought with the bank to fix it. The bank did make a feeble attempt to do so, but our client was not satisfied. Eventually, she closed the bank account so that the bank could no longer withdraw money from her account. Instead, she decided she wanted the benefit of her bargain so she began making bi-weekly payments in July 2009. She made two payments in July, much more than what she was required to make. The next month, she did the same thing and again paid more than what was required. Well, the wonderful benevolent bank who always has their clients’ interests at heart (can you feel the sarcasm) applied these 4 payments over two months in such a way that it appeared our client was behind one month on her payment even though the bank received substantially more than it was owed for those two months. She started receiving threatening letters from the bank, so each month after that she went back to paying her regular monthly payment. In addition to paying IN FULL each month, she would send a monthly letter to the bank explaining the situation and asking them to correct. She was simply never behind on her mortgage, but the bank ignored her letters every month. What did Wells Fargo do instead, they returned her payment put her in foreclosure. Absolutely disgusting. This elderly woman never missed a mortgage payment and wrote the bank every month to fix the problem, but they chose to foreclose instead.
If you think that’s bad enough, it gets worse. We listed over one hundred exhibits on our exhibit list. The exhibits were the checks that Wells Fargo cashed, the statements they sent our client and all of the letters our client wrote the bank. I could understand that Wells Fargo is a huge corporation and sometimes mistakes may happen, but one would think that when they are foreclosing on an elderly woman who never missed a mortgage payment, someone would step up and fix this mess and keep this woman in her house. That is what any honorable person or corporation with some moral compass would do. We gave them all of the proof they needed to show they were wrong. What would Wells Fargo gain by throwing this elderly woman on a fixed income out on the street? How could the person who decided to move forward with this foreclosure sleep at night?
Ok, so the sage continues to get worse. Realizing that they have a problem on their hands, Wells Fargo makes no attempt to help this woman. Instead, they dig their heels in. They fly their #1 witness from Texas to South Florida to testify against this woman. This witness worked at World Savings, which became Wachovia, which became Wells Fargo. He has been at these 3 banks for almost 30 years. He knows every detail of every operation of each of these banks. To his credit, he is the best bank witness I have ever seen. He is truly a professional witness who knows everything. So again, instead of helping this poor woman, they decide to make sure they bring the best witness to give them the best chance to win. Okay, it still gets worse. The bank was originally represented by a foreclosure mill who shall remain nameless. They are not known to be the best, they are known to be a typical foreclosure mill. Wells Fargo fired them and hired a real top notch law firm who shall also remain nameless for now. To find this law firm, look for the tallest building in any downtown area and these are the lawyers on the penthouse floor. We jokingly call lawyers like this the “tall building lawyers”. These are the type of lawyers any rich corporation hires when they can’t lose and don’t care what it costs. My guess is that the two lawyers they hired were probably billing out $1,300 per hour or more between the two of them. Again, instead of helping this poor elderly woman, they decided to spend an absolute fortune on legal fees to make sure that this poor elderly woman won’t have a house anymore. It would have been much cheaper to simply fix this mistake and let this lady go back to paying her mortgage. Wells Fargo obviously cared about winning more than they cared about this lady.
So, we had trial this past Monday. I’ve done probably more foreclosure trials than 99% of the lawyers who do foreclosure defense, so I know what bank witnesses and lawyers do well and which did not do so well. My hat’s off to Wells Fargo on this one. The bank witness was amazing and was difficult to cross examine. These bank lawyers were also as good as they get. They were top notch lawyers worth every penny they were paid. We started trial at 9:30 AM and went until 5:30 PM. I’ve never had to fight so hard for a foreclosure client because I was up against a real foreclosure machine on the other side. They were prepared like I have never seen bank lawyers prepared. Sounding gloomy at this point? Ok, I’ll get to the end. We won and saved this lady’s house.
I can not stop thinking about this case. Why would Wells Fargo go to such lengths to do this to this woman? I simply can not figure this out. If someone would have just gone into the payment system and recoded one payment that they did not code properly, this whole mess could have been avoided. Our client wrote so many letters and gave them notice of this so many times. If they would have taken two seconds to fix this, Wells Fargo would have a performing loan, this elderly woman would be in her house and making her mortgage payments, and it would have been perfect for everyone. Its just amazing to me that they would double down in this situation instead of just doing the right thing.
This case is a perfect example of why I do what I do. This elderly client was not looking for a free house, she was not looking to take advantage of anyone, nor was she a strategic defaulter. She simply wanted a bi-weekly payment that was promised to her. The bank received more than enough money to pay for her mortgage payment the two months she made the bi-weekly payments, so the bank never lost one penny. Yet, here’s another example of a big bank going rogue. I am so thankful that this client hired us and trusted us to aggressively defend her. I am also happy that we came through for her.
If you or someone you know is facing a foreclosure, the foreclosure defense attorneys at Loan Lawyers are ready to help you. We offer foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, loan modification, short sales, and (my personal favorite) we sue banks and bank lawyers. Call us right now at 1-888-FIGHT-13 to schedule your free consultation in Broward, Miami-Dade or Palm Beach county.