Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Imagine this foreclosure story

Imagine you’re 75-years-old.

You live in New York State with your spouse and together you have a daughter in Chicago and a son in Connecticut.

Imagine you and your spouse are tucked into bed, sleeping peacefully at 9:45 PM when you’re startled awake by banging at your door.

What goes through your mind? Someone’s been hurt. Right?

Imagine that the person banging on the door is the Sheriff. But he’s not there to deliver news of any accident. He’s there to serve you foreclosure papers.

Not your foreclosure papers. Your daughter in Chicago. The Sheriff is there to serve you with her foreclosure papers.

At 9:45 PM.

Now imagine you’re the brother in Connecticut. Same story. Sheriff serves you with your sister’s foreclosure papers.

And now imagine you’re the sister.

You’re in Chicago and you're in foreclosure. Fighting to save your home. You've been served with the papers... and have just found out that your parents in New York and your brother in Connecticut were also served with your papers.

You’re in HUD-Approved Mortgage Counseling. You’re researching your options. Navigating the labyrinth of foreclosure.

You’ve already been through hell. With a brain tumor. You lost your job when you used up all of your medical leave only to have your property taxes double in the last two years.

Your $1260 mortgage ballooned to $2300. None of this was expected. But it happened. And now not only are you having to deal with the fear and intimidation that accompanies the possibility of losing your home, but your parents and brother are too.

You try to talk to Wells Fargo but they tell you to communicate with their foreclosure attorney who never picks up the phone.

You try to keep it together.

Your husband grew up in communist Czechoslovakia. He escaped his country -- he left there to come here for a better life. He came here with nothing, got his green card, did everything exactly as he was supposed to -- worked hard, paid taxes, pursued the "American Dream" -- and now is back at square one. He wonders if he made the right decision. But he knows he did. Because he met you.


Now imagine that this story is true.

Because it is. This is a true story from a Love in the Time of Foreclosure reader.

Her name is Trish and she gave me permission to share her story with all of you.

What really touched me is how much she and her husband have been through and how they are still trying to create a positive outcome. They don't know what that will be at this point. Their story doesn't have an ending yet.

I was also completely surprised by the fact that her brother and parents were served with her foreclosure papers. I've never heard of that. As Trish wrote to me, she's never experienced such intimidation tactics before. No. I wouldn't think so. It makes me wonder... how much of this is going on that we don't know about.

Has anyone else out there fighting foreclosure been the victim of the bank's intimidation tactics?

The other mystery is that because she is in HUD-Approved Mortgage counseling, Wells Fargo is not allowed to pursue legal action against her for 90 days. Yet they served her entire family with foreclosure papers. This seems to be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.

And it makes me angry.

This is what I want to say...


Trish,

As I wrote to you before, you're not alone. Keep focusing on the positives in your life. I'm glad you have each other. Because that's how you'll get through this... together.  Good luck. And please keep us posted. As our story has made a difference for you, now yours will make a difference for someone else. Thank you for having the courage to share.


Best,


Steph

7 Comments:

Chi-town Southerner said...

Unbelievable!

Jessica C said...

I have heard of collection agencies doing this-contacting relatives, but never a mortgage company. It's deplorable-but obviously they are stepping up collection efforts to recoup their increasing losses, because probaby somewhere there was a meeting of executives that decided that numbers weren't looking good so they need to start steamrolling their troubled borrowers.

Sorry to sound bitter, but I would be willing to bet that Wells Fargo did this knowing full well they are crossing the line and prompting lawsuits, but also taking into the account of the people that will be intimidated and won't sue. The benefit of the intimidation outweighs any potential lawsuits. Basically, ask forgiveness rather than permission.

That just breaks my heart...

Anonymous said...

Steph,
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement during this CRAZY time! I will be forever grateful for the night I sat at my computer, in tears, googling "surviving foreclosure", and came across your blog. Your words were a comforting balm to my soul and you gave me hope that this too shall pass...and somehow we will be ok...and life will go on...and we will have happy days and peaceful nights again...someday. You have been an angel, a lifeline of support, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
~Trish

Change Relationship said...

Thank you so much for sharing this foreclosure story. I know some couple who are experiencing this kind of problems too.

elishadv said...

love the brand new header Steph! Modern and happy looking...nice change :)

CareyCottage said...

Oh for the love of >>>>> Wells Fargo is KNOWN to be underhanded!!! This story..has it been taken to the media? Councilman, Senator, State Attorney General?

I had a collection company call me continually, up to 20 x a day looking for someone who used to have my number. I got mad and I got even.

I wish the best of luck to the homeowners.

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Loan modification programs have been created to help the borrower keep their home during tough financial times.

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